How trauma affects memory recall

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Fri 29 Apr 2016 11:00 pm

I agree with everything you said Charles, but we aren't addressing the issue of Pot as in this case. Essentially short of some kind of state level legalization, UT will continue to use Federal statues. And with marijuana a schedule one drug, the felony charge is almost their only choice. If the feds don't change the schedule, and you want to address the issue, then there has to be some level of state mandated legality for the drug, be it Medical or Recreational.

I can tell you that in most states with purely medical marijuana, getting a card ranges from cheap and ridiculously easy, to moderately expensive ($200 price range) and ridiculously easy to get. And it pretty quickly gets out of hand to the point where you might as well start considering recreational use. In Cali for example a woman can go in and say she suffers from excruciating menstrual cramps, pay her fee, and walk out with a card. Even in Colorado people still get medical cards, for two reasons. One is the tax break and the second is that the medical side of a dual dispensary may have products not available on the recreational side. And there are still towns without recreational dispensaries that do have medical ones. So there are advantages to getting a medical card.

But I do seriously think that whatever your poison be it marijuana crystal meth, heroine or even alcohol if you cause an accident under the influence, shoot someone under the influence or otherwise cause bodily harm to another human being, there needs to be accountability that takes your condition into account.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Fri 29 Apr 2016 11:43 pm

The admission of how quickly medical use turns to de facto recreational use is the very reason that many of us who sincerely support medical use are cautious.

To be clear, however, my thoughts on legalizing possession of a gun while intoxicated were about alcohol.

As for pot, I think we could decriminalize possession of a gun for peaceful users without needing to legalize pot itself.

In the event of a criminal or accidental shooting, intoxication or other drug impairment should be an aggravating factor. In an otherwise legally justified shooting, intoxication or other drug impairment should not factor into the legal equation.

The alternative boils down to, "If you are drunk/high/stoned/on pain meds/etc then you have no legal right to defend yourself with a gun."

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Sat 30 Apr 2016 6:14 pm

bagpiper wrote:The admission of how quickly medical use turns to de facto recreational use is the very reason that many of us who sincerely support medical use are cautious.


As for pot, I think we could decriminalize possession of a gun for peaceful users without needing to legalize pot itself.

In the event of a criminal or accidental shooting, intoxication or other drug impairment should be an aggravating factor. In an otherwise legally justified shooting, intoxication or other drug impairment should not factor into the legal equation.


Charles


Unfortunately on the first point, I'm not sure the state can decriminalize use pot while in possession of a gun, due again to the federal schedule 1 classification. I could be entirely wrong.

On the second point, I think that if a shooting happens and shooter is impaired, perhaps there should be much more more detailed investigation before declaring it a good shoot. As in the scenario I created in the Ogden shooting in an earlier post. The fact that she had a knife in her hand is not necessarily proof of attack. I'll grant that's probably how it was perceived and how it was determined a good shoot. But I'll say again, different people react to pot differently. And even sometimes differently to different strains. There's no way to climb inside his mind and determine if he was anxious, paranoid, or both... the fact is, were he both, and she approached in a non threatening manner while holding a knife, he may have reacted entirely differently were he not high and all other conditions being equal.

So, perhaps a quick psychological examination to try and determine his state of mind and degree he was stoned might have been cogent to the decision that it was a good shoot. We can't, and won't know, and now the case is basically closed, and he's certainly sitting in jail, straight as can be.

I won't even try to rebut the slippery slope of Medcal Marijuana. I don't think it's happened to the same extent in every state that's passed medical but it undoubtedly did in Co and is happening in CA. To be really honest though, one reason it happens is because marijuana is effective in helping people with so very many illnesses. It really can help with bad menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and believe it or not there are studies mostly coming out of Oxford because of our continued fear of a perfectly natural herb not much actual research takes place in the US. But anyway, there's evidence to suggest it can help with and in some cases cure copd. While obviously smoking the product is not the most efficacious way of ingesting it, vaporizing can still be acceptable. But mostly they suggest cooking with extracts or consuming the oil There is lots of anecdotal evidence of helping far more illnesses, and because quality research isn't happening stateside, primarily because of the schedule one federal drug classification, we sometimes have to work with anecdotal evidence. There is no doubt that THC the active ingredient that is psychoactive helps cancer patients with both pain and appetite, that is a fairly well accepted medical fact. There is more and more evidence the CBD, the cannabinoid that has proven to be effective at treating epilepsy is very likely helpful in killing cancer cells. No one is claiming it's cure. We don't know. Because we can barely study it.

The reason for all that is to justify Doctors that are willing to prescribe it for patient ailments that there may or may not be proof of. If a person has Parkinsons, or MD and it's very likely going to eventually kill them anyway, what is the harm in trying pot? There is, actually some evidence in both those diseases that cbd can help repair neural sheaths and while not a cure can alleviate symptoms and extend life.


And frankly, most Americans do a fair amount of self medicating. Alcohol being THE gold standard of proof. But the thriving homeopathic medical business and even chiropractors are proof that people will try other things before they go to a doctor. One thing that's pretty well accepted is that pot can be an effective pain reliever. Or sleep aid. There are thousands of people, probably 10's of thousands, myself included that would prefer not to use opiate pain killers, or drastically cut the dose. I assure you that Opiate overdose kills many more people per year in the US than pot. I say that very confidently because pot won't kill you. Even if you really try to od, the most it will do is put you to sleep. I'm not naive enough to believe NO deaths per year are caused by pot, but I'll promise you it's a very small fraction of the number that are killed by alcohol. Tests have proven that normal amounts of THC do not have the same eye hand coordination impairment that alcohol does. Yes, it can affect your judgement. Yes, if you're dumb enough to drive impaired, it really doesn't matter what you pick for your poison of the day, chances are you might cause an accident. But the statistics aren't there. And it's not for lack of trying to find them on the part of the anti marijuana crowd.

I actually could go on. But I think I've planted enough seeds. Read up on it if you're interested. One of the better, more unbiased sources of info, believe it or not is NORML. No doubt they are pro legalization, but the articles they publish are generally sound, and from reputable sources. Just not many in the US. I could point you to other sources that you would immediately question, so I'll save us both. If I read something linked from one of those sources, I do follow up research to verify. Even if it never happens in UT. I will probably be moving to WA. But even if I were staying, the subject fascinates me. I remember my high school days and writing research papers on the evils of marijuana and other drugs. You're still not going to talk me into trying 99% of them, but I believe pot is quite safe.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Sat 07 May 2016 9:02 am

I wanted to add one thing about medical marijuana. For the most part, medical use involves micro dosing. This means that while, of course, there are some psychedelic effects, they are very minor. There are stages of high ranging from barely feeling it and some relaxation/pain relief All the way up to full, see pretty lights and and sit around giggling like an idiot with your friends. Like alcohol. One drink won't get you drunk, four or five depending on your size and weight will make you stupid staggering around drunk.

My understanding is the public seems to think there's "high" resulting from any use at all, and not high resulting from no exposure at all. That simply isn't true, as with all medication.

I have a muscle relaxer prescribed for me by my Dr. normal dosage for the drug is one to three pills. If I take one, I notice absolutely no effect, including no help. If I take one and one quarter pill I can feel it with some efficacy. If I take two it makes me absolutely stupid. It's worse than being drunk. I can barely walk or talk, and typing is pretty much not going to happen, at least not intelligibly. I can only image that three would make me comatose for a few hours. Obviously, I just don't use them. The effective dose is in too narrowly defines of a range, and I hate how even one and a half make me feel and act. Oh, "if" I'm particularly bad cramp wise, and I'm going to bed immediately so I don't have to actually experience the feeling involved I will very rarely take one and a half at bed time. Very rarely.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Mon 16 May 2016 10:00 am

Mel,

I understand the lack of recreational effect when used for legit medical needs. Doesn't surprise me at all. I've had occasion in my life to need pain killers. I've never had any high or euphoric reaction when using those opiate (real or synthetic) based drugs for pain control.

A few years back a wonderful lady who attended church with us was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. She remained upbeat and positive throughout. Her doctors prescribed morphine to control the pain. She told me once that some of her friends had expressed concern about her getting addicted. Her response? "What do I care? I'll be gone in a few more weeks." She was not addicted. She was "dependent" on morphine for a few weeks to manage her pain. Not unlike a diabetic is dependent on insulin to live.

If someone is really ill, I have not concerns about them getting a "high" or other euphoric reaction. I'm not the old Puritan who hates bear baiting not because the bear is suffering but because the spectators are enjoying themselves. :)

In fact, my reasons for opposing recreational use have very little to do with the users getting stoned or high or what ever. I think it is tragic to waste one's potential living in a drug induced stupor. But I'm not a good enough Christian to exert much effort to stop those who really want to do that. Rather, my concern is based on the externalities imposed on the rest of us by users. If users could and would keep their use truly private such that I wasn't having to bear costs because of their use, I'd not see much reason to criminalize or otherwise restrict their access and use.

So my concern with medical use isn't that someone is going to get high or stoned. My concern is two-fold.

1-Sick people get desperate and will try almost anything. I know, I've been there.

Some things may not help them, may actually make things worse for them. I'm not into a nanny state, but I do think decent people have a responsibility to help protect the vulnerable from snake oil fraudsters.

2-Medical use can easily become de facto recreational use. And this imposes costs on non-users. Some of these costs are direct. Some are more subtle. I don't care to bear either.

I do think ill persons should have access to medical marijuana. I think we ought to be doing real research on the potential benefits of cannabis and its various chemical components. Of course, I think natural opiates ought to be far more readily available to manage pain. So what do I know?

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Tue 17 May 2016 9:21 am

bagpiper wrote:Mel,

I understand the lack of recreational effect when used for legit medical needs. Doesn't surprise me at all. I've had occasion in my life to need pain killers. I've never had any high or euphoric reaction when using those opiate (real or synthetic) based drugs for pain control.

If someone is really ill, I have not concerns about them getting a "high" or other euphoric reaction. I'm not the old Puritan who hates bear baiting not because the bear is suffering but because the spectators are enjoying themselves. :)

So my concern with medical use isn't that someone is going to get high or stoned. My concern is two-fold.

1-Sick people get desperate and will try almost anything. I know, I've been there.

Some things may not help them, may actually make things worse for them. I'm not into a nanny state, but I do think decent people have a responsibility to help protect the vulnerable from snake oil fraudsters.

2-Medical use can easily become de facto recreational use. And this imposes costs on non-users. Some of these costs are direct. Some are more subtle. I don't care to bear either.

I do think ill persons should have access to medical marijuana. I think we ought to be doing real research on the potential benefits of cannabis and its various chemical components. Of course, I think natural opiates ought to be far more readily available to manage pain. So what do I know?

Charles


Charles, I appreciate your candid answer and I do want address just a few points. I apologize for not doing the normal break it down point by point, and only chopping out the parts that either I agree with, were anecdotal references to your personal experience, or religious issues that while not irrelevant, are simply not applicable to me or my thinking. That said lets start with the first sentence I left intact and the last paragraph, thus killing two birds with one stone.

I use opiate pain killers every day, pretty much. If I'm not in pain, which is rare, I don't use them. So I may be fooling myself into thinking I'm not dependent on them because I "can" go with out them, in reality I probably have at very least some dependency on them. I've never gotten a high from opiates, even on those occasions when I've been on a higher or more frequent dosage. Utah at the last study I saw had one of the highest rates of prescription rates of opiates in the nation. And that prescription rate nationwide is mostly on the rise. There are some exceptions to that, but that is why the Federal rules on control of scripts, requiring you to physically pick them up at your doctors office, only get one month supply at a time, sign release forms, yadda yadda yadda. In other words instead of making them more readily available, they've actually tightened up on the supply. Having said that, because of the wide spread abuse of opiates, I actually agree with the Feds on this one. First, I would never do so, second I need the pills so I'd be hurting both myself and society by doing so...so I would never do it. But the pills I can get each month for a very low co pay, would sell on the street for anywhere from $5-$10 dollars per pill. I'm prescribed 120 pills per month. You do the math. In reality, I get a refill every 5-6 weeks, but still when you're on a fixed income, as I am, a significant chunk of change. Secondly, opiates are much more dangerous than people like you or me give them credit for. They were responsible for nearly 19,000 deaths in 2014, the last year I could easily find data for. And most medical professionals will agree that is a burgeoning problem. And that's from overdose alone. Some additional information: 1) In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills. 2) Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. As a consequence,the rate of heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2000 to 2013. During this 14-year period, the rate of heroin overdose showed an average increase of 6% per year from 2000 to 2010, followed by a larger average increase of 37% per year from 2010 to 2013. And 3) 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain.” These and a number of other interesting facts and figures can be found in the "Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts & Figures" Study by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, or the "ASAM".

All that is to point out the cost to society of opiates "alone" not to mention all the other drugs that cannabis can help to replace. I'm not saying it "will" in all cases, but let's use a very conservative number like 10%. If cannabis can reduce opiate dependency by just that 10% we are talking a huge impact in the reduction of deaths. I challenge you to find even one confirmed death in 2014 due to cannabis overdose. I'm not saying there were no cannabis related car crashes, etc. so don't go there. This study is simply about overdose, and I didn't even add the figures when you factor in Heroin and other opiate deaths. That information is in the report I mentioned if you're interested.

I absolutely agree that more study needs to be done to corroborate anecdotal experiences on the medical efficacy of cannabis, and any possible harm caused by cannabis. So in order for that to happen, at the very least, the Federal government needs to reschedule the drug. As a schedule one drug, that research is nearly impossible to get approved much less funded. It is beginning to happen at universities in states that have legalized it, so we are starting to see some verifiable numbers. I will add, however, that while maintaining, based on it's own scheduling of the drug that cannabis has no medical use, the United States Government owns patent number 6630507-Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants. An interesting dichotomy don't you think? Again, if interested, I'll leave you to google additional information on the subject.

I would also ask, not challenge, but simply ask that you quantify from verifiable sources the cost to society involved in recreational cannabis use. We have very different opinions on that subject, each based on our own perspective. I respect your perspective from being completely outside the culture, just as you've shown yourself to be respectful of my perspective, from the very fringes of the culture.

And finally, I want to address one other issue that I hadn't cut and pasted.
I think it is tragic to waste one's potential living in a drug induced stupor. But I'm not a good enough Christian to exert much effort to stop those who really want to do that. Rather, my concern is based on the externalities imposed on the rest of us by users. If users could and would keep their use truly private such that I wasn't having to bear costs because of their use, I'd not see much reason to criminalize or otherwise restrict their access and use.


Colorado is a wild card. I believe their laws "primarily" require private use, but allow for social clubs, etc. where people are allowed to smoke around other users. This is little different than the old "private" club system of alcohol consumption in Utah, but I do believe there are movements to relax the laws on public consumption. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that, to say the least, I have mixed emotions. If you look at WA and OR cannabis laws, you'll find that they've essential met your litmus test. Use in those states is indeed expected, and the law requires that it be kept in private.

Finally to address one other point from your quote concerning the
I think it is tragic to waste one's potential living in a drug induced stupor.
I believe that if you were to survey successful millennials up to and including CEO's of major corporations you would find that cannabis is more of a norm than an exception. No, they don't "live in a drug induced stupor." Rather say that on a weekend, a vacation, or in at least some cases on their occasional free evening, they enjoy small to moderate amounts of cannabis for relaxation. Little to no different than allowing ones self a tot of brandy, or a glass of wine. I'm not going to further burden you or the other readers of this thread by googling actual numbers. That is indeed anecdotal information based on interviews, etc. that I've read. In addition at least the last three POTUS's to hold office have admitted to use at the very least on an experimental basis in college. And isn't it interesting that no one talked about jail time for those upper class individuals, even the African American in the group? Or at least not seriously, I have heard that fact bandied around but more as banter nothing serious.

Charles, it's always interesting having these discussions with an open minded individual. I'll be interested to hear any responses you might have to these points. I may or may not rebut, based on whether I have pertinent responses or not. I think for a gun forum we're getting pretty close to having beat this into the ground. Though I will admit to the fact that I could and will talk this subject to death when given the opportunity and a willing audience. Best regards my friend.

Mel
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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Tue 24 May 2016 5:50 am

**Bump** Charles, I was really looking forward to some additional discussion on this topic. So I thought I'd kick it to the top before it scrolled off the recent topics list and got lost in the weeds, so to speak.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Tue 31 May 2016 3:56 pm

quychang wrote:But the pills I can get each month for a very low co pay, would sell on the street for anywhere from $5-$10 dollars per pill. I'm prescribed 120 pills per month. You do the math. In reality, I get a refill every 5-6 weeks, but still when you're on a fixed income, as I am, a significant chunk of change.


No doubt, those who get excess and then sell them into the street market are causing problems for those who really need them. I view such folks as I do the recreational pot smokers: as very selfish. In both cases, selfish conduct is making life more difficult for those who really need relief.

quychang wrote:Secondly, opiates are much more dangerous than people like you or me give them credit for. They were responsible for nearly 19,000 deaths in 2014, ....

All that is to point out the cost to society of opiates "alone" not to mention all the other drugs that cannabis can help to replace. I'm not saying it "will" in all cases, but let's use a very conservative number like 10%. If cannabis can reduce opiate dependency by just that 10% we are talking a huge impact in the reduction of deaths. ...

I absolutely agree that more study needs to be done to corroborate anecdotal experiences on the medical efficacy of cannabis, and any possible harm caused by cannabis. So in order for that to happen, at the very least, the Federal government needs to reschedule the drug. ....


It is good that we are coming to recognize the dangers of opiate use. I hope that recognizing that danger, even under professional medical supervision for what is believed to be legitimate pain-management needs, that we'd never see calls to legalize the recreational use of opiates. Nor heroine nor other hard drugs for that matter. I'm just not libertarian enough these days to care to see those social costs imposed on all of us. Tens of thousands of deaths and addicts moves beyond just personal choice.

I absolutely agree that the feds should reclassify pot to allow legitimate research on its effects. Because right now what we tend to see is either outright hostility to its medical use from concerns it will cause grave harm, or almost snake-oil like promises of how it solves all kinds of problems with nary a side effect. I'm sure the truth is someone in between those.

For example a recent article on Newsmax reports on research showing that marijuana use may alter a person's DNA and that those mutations may be passed on to one's children.

Now, societies have long prohibited incestuous relationships precisely from the concern of birth defects among the children of such unions. We've seen great strides socially in discouraging pregnant women from consuming alcohol or smoking tobacco while pregnant. I think we've actually seen child abuse charges for pregnant women who use illicit drugs. What is the proper, or even possible, response if pot use in one's teens or early 20s can result in permanent changes to DNA that get passed on to one's children when pregnancy happens in the late 20s or early 30s?

Another recent article, this one on Politico, highlights some of the social costs imposed by the booming pot trade in Colorado. Interestingly, it reminds me a bit of the legal brothels in Nevada. For all the claims of persona choices, everyone involved really understands that nobody wants this crap near their home. So brothels are relegated to unincorporated areas of rural counties. Marijuana grow and packaging operations end up in low income areas that lack the political clout to get more restrictive zoning.

quychang wrote:I would also ask, not challenge, but simply ask that you quantify from verifiable sources the cost to society involved in recreational cannabis use. We have very different opinions on that subject, each based on our own perspective. I respect your perspective from being completely outside the culture, just as you've shown yourself to be respectful of my perspective, from the very fringes of the culture.


I doubt anyone can fully quantify the costs of marijuana legalization. But here is one article that makes a bit of an attempt. Among other findings, teens that use pot regularly experience a permanent 6 to 8 point reduction in IQ. In an ever more information/technology-based economy, the personal and thus social costs are huge. The article points out that with the rates of teenage alcohol use at some 70%, it is not reasonable to think that legalizing pot will actually lead to a reduction in teen usage of that drug. Indeed, what is permissible for adults and thus readily available for adults, will be available to teens. For example, in States legalizing marijuana calls to poison control for children exposed to pot. In Colorado, at least 2 children required intubation to assist with breathing after their accidently ingesting marijuana.

"Cannabis-related emergency hospital admission rates overall have been rising sharply in the United States, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which shows emergency department admissions increasing from 16,251 in 1991 to over 461,028 in 2012 (SAMHSA, 2013). Marijuana-related admissions to hospital emergency rooms account for more than all other drugs combined."

A neighbor works for adult probation and parole. He tells me that he can almost always very accurately discern when those involved in the criminal justice system started using marijuana and other drugs because their emotional development stops at that point. He spends his time dealing with "a bunch of 14 to 16 year olds in 40 year old bodies." Even if we are talking about 18 to 22 year olds in 40 year old bodies, we now know that human brains (and especially male brains) are not fully developed until about age 25. For many men, it isn't until 30 or so that they really seem to gain control over what we might kindly describe as male impulsiveness (ie violence, over-reactions to perceived insults, impulsive behaviors, etc). It is entirely possible, I think, that many of the marijuana users who are part of the criminal justice system are not involved in that system nearly so much because pot is illegal, but rather because pot has impaired their ability to grow up, and grow out of the kind of behaviours that put people into conflict with accepted social mores as expressed through our criminal laws.

We also have the costs of impairment. It is easy to objectively test for whether an airline pilot, bus driver, fork lift operator, air traffic controller, or private driver is impaired by alcohol. While the effects of alcohol vary a bit, it has been well demonstrated that most everyone experiences significant motor skills impairment by the time blood alcohol reaches 0.12%. Alcohol limits of 0.10% or 0.08% BAC serve as acceptable, and objective limits for most private activities, with limits of 0.0% BAC imposed for many commercial activities like driving big rigs, flying aircraft, etc. Pot doesn't clear the system and the effects of a given dose vary widely from person to person. Lacking an objective measure by which to determine whether a person is/was impaired we have significant problems administering justice.

Remember, despite (or perhaps because of) my religious affiliation, I spent several years as a Libertarian, even serving as an officer for the Libertarian Party of Utah. I have multiple family members who have used pot both purely recreationally as well as for some medical benefit. My concerns stem not from some simplistic, thoughtless religious or social views. Rather, I have come from supporting legalization to having grave concerns about it having watched the unfulfilled promises with Amsterdam's legalization, seeing the effects on those I love, and frankly seeing what amounts to a fairly one-sided presentation from those most actively supporting legalization.

I'm in favor of research. I believe there are legit medical uses.

I oppose the current "war on drugs" with its draconian military tactics that violate fundamental rights.

I simply have some concerns about what legalization does. I look forward to longer term results from States going that path, even as I recognize that it may be all but impossible to get accurate and objective data or media reports from such experiments. If nothing else, having a diversity of laws across the nation allows citizens to vote with their feet. Many will avoid areas where pot is legal. Others--especially those with some medical condition which responds well to marijuana use--will happily accept social costs in order to relieve their own maladies. That is perfectly natural.

quychang wrote:
Colorado is a wild card. I believe their laws "primarily" require private use, but allow for social clubs, etc. where people are allowed to smoke around other users. This is little different than the old "private" club system of alcohol consumption in Utah, but I do believe there are movements to relax the laws on public consumption. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that, to say the least, I have mixed emotions. If you look at WA and OR cannabis laws, you'll find that they've essential met your litmus test. Use in those states is indeed expected, and the law requires that it be kept in private.


And if properly enforced that limits costs. But just as we've recognized the dangers of 2nd hand tobacco smoke, what of family members living in a home with a pot smoker? Even you have admitted that smoking may not be the best way--in many cases--to get marijuana into one's system. And can rules about private use be enforced? If the only penalties that will discourage public use are seen--or portrayed as--draconian or unreasonable, we can't actually enforce it.

I note that today--as you implicitly concede below--one can fairly safely use marijuana with very low risk of criminal penalties. Simply keep one's use private and the odds of getting sideways with the law are minimal. Yes, there are exceptions. Some of them are really tragic and are the reason I oppose the war on drugs. But if, as you assert, marijuana use is more the norm than the exception, then we must also accept that getting busted for truly private use is also the exception since so many people use pot and never get caught.

But this also means that a lot of users are unwilling to keep their use private, even with today's penalties in place. Does legalizing and requiring private usage discourage public use better than a complete ban? I think it is hard to make a rational case for that, though proponents of legalization will be quick to claim that legalizing will solve most all problems. :)

quychang wrote:Finally to address one other point from your quote concerning the
I think it is tragic to waste one's potential living in a drug induced stupor.
I believe that if you were to survey successful millennials up to and including CEO's of major corporations you would find that cannabis is more of a norm than an exception. No, they don't "live in a drug induced stupor." Rather say that on a weekend, a vacation, or in at least some cases on their occasional free evening, they enjoy small to moderate amounts of cannabis for relaxation. Little to no different than allowing ones self a tot of brandy, or a glass of wine. I'm not going to further burden you or the other readers of this thread by googling actual numbers. That is indeed anecdotal information based on interviews, etc. that I've read. In addition at least the last three POTUS's to hold office have admitted to use at the very least on an experimental basis in college. And isn't it interesting that no one talked about jail time for those upper class individuals, even the African American in the group? Or at least not seriously, I have heard that fact bandied around but more as banter nothing serious.


It does seem that those who are smart enough to keep their usage strictly private can avoid most of the risk of legal problem. There are those who have sufficient brain power to do that, even in the presence of a 6 to 8 point hit to their IQ. Some have the wherewithal to limit their usage so as to avoid that 6 to 8 point hit. But how many don't?

To me it might be a bit like divorce. Go back 50 years and almost nobody outside Hollywood or WallStreet got divorced. The common folks just couldn't afford it. I remember listening to Johnny Carson joke about his ex wives in the 70s when divorce was still fairly rare among the commoners. Who but a celeb could afford to fund multiple households?

Today, it seems everyone thinks s/he can afford a divorce. And with no-fault divorce laws making it easy and stigma-free to get a divorce, the divorce rate is high. It would be higher, except that the marriage rate is down with so many choosing to live in sin rather than marry.

Turns out the social costs of this individual freedom is very high. The single biggest predictor of poverty is whether a child is born to two parents, married, having both finished high school. If he is, very low risk of poverty. If he is missing 1 or 2 of those traits, very high risk of poverty. Also higher risk of criminal conduct.

What a few Ivy League kids can do on vacation, sparingly, may be much more costly to society when a bunch of less intelligent folks do it every night. CEOs, POTUS, and other such over-achievers are not typical. We do not write laws nor form social policy based on what these folks can handle. Social security, medicare, and Medicaid are not in place for these people. Even 401(k)s, Roths, and 523 college saving plans are not aimed at these elites.

We are on risky ground if we base social policy on what the middle class handles. Sadly, but probably true.

No. A lot of our laws and social policy have to be aimed at keeping the lower socio-economic class from self-destructing and rioting. I'd like to see policies explicitly aimed at caring for the poor (and less intelligent) without locking the middle class into the same programs. But this yet another discussion.

quychang wrote:Charles, it's always interesting having these discussions with an open minded individual. I'll be interested to hear any responses you might have to these points. I may or may not rebut, based on whether I have pertinent responses or not. I think for a gun forum we're getting pretty close to having beat this into the ground. Though I will admit to the fact that I could and will talk this subject to death when given the opportunity and a willing audience. Best regards my friend.


Likewise. And thank you.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Wed 01 Jun 2016 12:30 pm

An interesting and timely editorial from the Deseret News today, advocating in favor of reclassifying marijuana from a schedule 1 to a schedule 2 drug to allow more testing and research.

Full editorial at the above link.

A little fair use excerpt to wet the appetite:

DesNews Editorial wrote:[T]he federal Drug Enforcement Administration needs to reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 drug. If the agency doesn’t do so — and some experts believe it won’t, even though the DEA has said it would consider the move this summer — Congress should act.

...

A survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, published last year, found that 9.5 percent of Americans smoked marijuana in 2012-13, which was up from 4.1 percent in 2001-02.


Whether legalization has lead to an actual increase in usage, or merely an increased willingness to admit to usage is an interesting question.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Wed 01 Jun 2016 2:12 pm

That is exactly the first move that needs to take place. That or take it off the schedule entirely. They really should have done it the day the government was awarded a patent for medical use. I don't object to more study and funding research into the subject. What I do object to is the government then ignoring the input generated by the research. My other fear, if you will, is that if big pharma gets involved with the synthetic cannabinoids they'll turn it into a cash cow, and heap the cost on the patients like they already do with some many other medications. I can see a pharmaceutical company getting involved in very specific terms. If for instance a particular ailment could be addressed by a very specific and controlled dose of one of the products of cannabis, I see nothing wrong with extracting it and creating controlled doses for that particular ailment.

I agree with you about desperate people grasping at straws, trying anything on the off chance it will work. Snake Oil salesmen are a good enough example, except that they traveled with their own anecdotal proof that it work, and swindled people out of their hard earned coin. I don't want cannabis to be turned into that either. But rather than opening up the script pad and spreading dispensing pain pills even more than we currently do, what's the problem if they want to see if something else will work.

The real bottom line of the argument on the war on drugs in general is it's good business for the establishment. The DEA employs thousands of people, the prison guards are supporting a super pac to help defeat recreational cannabis in California. The amount of money we pour into both government ran and privately contracted prisons is huge. Major corporations have a stake in maintaining the existing prison populations. In some cases of privately operated prisons, the government guaranteed them a minimum head count. So the cops have more incentive from about to arrest people. And the population that suffers the most is poor minorities, followed by poor white people. If you can afford a decent lawyer, chances are you see a fine and no jail time.

The more I know about the subject the more I think I like what Portugal, and perhaps two or three others have done. They've ended the ill conceived idea that you can wage war on a "Thing" like drugs, they've decriminalized all drugs, and they are treating drug dependence as a health care issue.

Regards,

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Mon 06 Jun 2016 2:06 pm

quychang wrote:
The more I know about the subject the more I think I like what Portugal, and perhaps two or three others have done. They've ended the ill conceived dea that you can wage war on a "Thing" like drugs, they've decriminalized all drugs, and they are treating drug dependence as a health care issue.


I agree with ending the "War on Drugs" with its paramilitary tactics.

But as for legalizing, I'm not so sure. Twenty years ago it was the Netherlands (and Amsterdam especially) that had effectively decriminalized drugs. I sang its praises for doing the right thing and ending all the problems associated with a black market in "soft" drugs. These days the only folks who want to talk about Amsterdam and their drug policy is Saturday Night Live doing jokes about drug use and prostitutes on school playgrounds. Libertarians and other pro-legalization folks act as if they've never heard of the city or its nation. Turns out that there are plenty of problems associated with a libertine, permissive attitude about recreational drug use that pop up when such use is decriminalized.

I hope there is some middle ground where we don't kick in doors or seize cash from anyone with a busted tail light, and yet manage to discourage the kind of public and/or widespread use and abuse that leads to imposing costs on non-users. I'd like to see medical benefits (and risks) of marijuana use thoroughly researched and documented.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby D-FIN » Tue 07 Jun 2016 1:22 pm

quychang wrote:The real bottom line of the argument on the war on drugs in general is it's good business for the establishment. The DEA employs thousands of people, the prison guards are supporting a super pac to help defeat recreational cannabis in California. The amount of money we pour into both government ran and privately contracted prisons is huge. Major corporations have a stake in maintaining the existing prison populations. In some cases of privately operated prisons, the government guaranteed them a minimum head count. So the cops have more incentive from about to arrest people. And the population that suffers the most is poor minorities, followed by poor white people. If you can afford a decent lawyer, chances are you see a fine and no jail time.


You don't even need a decent lawyer. In Utah unless there is a violent crime attached or it's so much drugs you are a major distributor. You are pretty much put in the system for a court date and turfed back on to the street. In Sandy I don't even think they are brought in they are essentially ticketed like a traffic stop and let go. There is no where to put them.
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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby quychang » Wed 08 Jun 2016 8:20 am

D-FIN wrote:
You don't even need a decent lawyer. In Utah unless there is a violent crime attached or it's so much drugs you are a major distributor. You are pretty much put in the system for a court date and turfed back on to the street. In Sandy I don't even think they are brought in they are essentially ticketed like a traffic stop and let go. There is no where to put them.


D-FIN it would be telling if we were able to look at that full system and determine which are incarcerated over drug laws that you say are typically treated with a slapped wrist. And while we're looking at those prisoners it would also be interesting to note how many of those in prison are minorities.

The least that needs to happen is for the feds to remove cannabis from the drug schedule all together or at worst case move it down to scedule two or three so that it can be studied. I personally would like them to remove it from the schedule altogether and then make it a states rights issue over how they handle decriminalization or partial legalization.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bagpiper » Wed 08 Jun 2016 9:53 am

quychang wrote:D-FIN it would be telling if we were able to look at that full system and determine which are incarcerated over drug laws that you say are typically treated with a slapped wrist. And while we're looking at those prisoners it would also be interesting to note how many of those in prison are minorities.


In visiting with neighbors who work in law enforcement, I'm told that it is pretty rare to end up in prison over simple, non-violent, personal use of pot.

DUI, dealing, and committing crimes while on drugs will lead to incarceration. And it turns out that a LOT of those in prison have a drug problem. But relatively few are in prison over a simple drug conviction.

I'm more and more convinced that early or heavy drug use impedes mental and emotional development needed to "play by the rules" of civilized society.

Among those who are in jail or prison over simple personal use, I'd be interested to know how many were busted for some kind of public use or for engaging in some conduct that brought their use to public light, vs how many were popped for truly private use.

As for minorities, if you haven't read "The Color of Crime" report put out by the American Renaissance or New Century group(s) you should. The publishing organization is often accused of being racist. And they probably are. But I've yet to see any critique of the actual methods or data that isn't pretty well addressed in the report itself. The report provides pretty good evidence, I think, that differences in incarceration rates among various racial demographics has very little to do with bias, and a lot to do with actual rates of criminal violation.

Now, that conclusion is based on the most serious crimes like murder and assault. I can easily accept that for low-tier crimes like personal drug use, factors such as how public the drug use is matter a lot. Rich folks with big comfy homes with AC can smoke dope in the basement without much fear of detection. Poor folks in small uncomfortable homes and minimal personal space are much more likely to smoke where someone else sees them.

I can also accept that there is cultural bias in our laws. For example, last time I read Color of Crime (it gets updated from time to time), Asians had very low rates of criminality with the exception of gambling. Gambling has long been subject to regulation and even bans in this nation. If gambling is somehow deeply rooted in Asian culture it would make sense that they would be prone to violation of laws that were created by a Western European religious culture that viewed gambling as a moral or social problem.

Similarly, if blacks are more prone to use pot, while whites are more likely to drink alcohol or take prescription meds, then the legal ban on pot would naturally be more burdensome for blacks than for whites. While there were notable blacks politicians and community spokesmen who advocated for legal bans on various drugs they saw as damaging to their communities, I can certainly accept that such voices did not reflect the actual majority culture in those communities, simply because of shared skin color.

Europeans tend to get in trouble when visiting the Middle East as many are used to topless beaches in Europe. Even in cities and nations of the Middle East that cater to Western tourists, going topless is a big no-no. American Christians tend to get into more trouble in the Middle East for preaching Christianity than do natives of the region or even European visitors. Obviously, we're accustomed to freedom of religion and speech. Limitations in these areas easily catch us.

In many of these cases, a l/Libertarian case can be made about "victimless" crimes.

Sadly, it appears that there may be certain cultural mores in certain communities to use violence and engage in theft far more frequently than are done in other communities. Even under l/Libertarian or anarchist philosophies, such crimes are violations of others rights and must be discouraged in some way.

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Re: How trauma affects memory recall

Postby bumpylight » Fri 10 Jun 2016 9:42 am

I suspect that recreational drug abuse is heaviest among people who are genetically predisposed to poor impulse control or afflicted by miswired pain-pleasure systems that leave them seeking something resembling emotional normalcy or else frantically seeking to avoid heightened pain from events that wouldn't particularly bother neurotypical individuals. I also believe that a fair number of drug abusers simply came from extraordinarily suboptimal family backgrounds that left them emotionally shattered. Yes, this includes growing up around violent druggies. The latter two of these classes self-medicate in a remarkably counterproductive way that nonetheless is the only way they know. No doubt a fair number of other drug abusers are just mentally ill in some way, possibly bipolar or schizophrenic. They fell into drug use almost by accident and found it hard to then kick the habit. Once an individual starts self-medicating in this way, of course, the problems that originally led to the drug abuse are still present and may even grow much worse. Avoiding reality rarely leads to an optimal outcome.

Starting early might mean retarding or permanently stunting critical brain development, leading to lifelong problems with perception and self-control. Needless to say, this is the primary rationale behind prohibiting minors from drinking alcoholic beverages. One also wonders just how long it takes for an individual to reach true brain maturity. Should anyone under the age of 24 be prohibited from ingesting mind-altering substances like alcohol?

Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age 18. But emerging science about brain development suggests that most people don't reach full maturity until the age 25. [....]


http://npr.org/templates/story/story.ph ... =141164708

As for individuals with poor impulse control, well, we all know the results of combining mood-altering substances with an already nihilistic attitude that typically lacks regard for the lives and well-being of others. Murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries and other crimes remain a plague on the land.

I'm still utterly opposed to the insane, brazenly unconstitutional Drug War and would see it abolished entirely, but I'd also want harsh penalties for crimes committed under the influence of a voluntarily ingested psychoactive substance. Freedom and responsibility go together.

bagpiper wrote:[....]

I'm more and more convinced that early or heavy drug use impedes mental and emotional development needed to "play by the rules" of civilized society.
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