Legalizing marijuana; Cha-ching - page 7

by MunoRN | 4,669 Views | 84 Comments

I was aware one benefit of legalizing marijuana was to reduce government spending on enforcement, litigation, and imprisonment, but I guess I hadn't realized the extent of potential revenue. From Washington state's expected... Read More


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    Before everyone decides legalized pot is a good idea they need to talk to a counselor that deals with teens with drug problems. I talked to one a few months ago and found it interesting.

    I was asked if I have known a chronic pot smoker that started in early to mid teens. Yes, I have a couple of uncles and cousins that are. She asked if they are as mature mentally as others in their age group. Nope.

    She told me that is because the human brain is still developing until approx. the age of 27, not growing physically but neurons and such still making all of its connections. When someone chronically uses a drug that alters the mind be it alcohol, pot, or numerous others it stops those connections. That is why normally you will see someone in their late 20's and older still acting like a teenager. Their brain stopped developing at that stage. It makes sense to me. I know those for legalization will not agree. She also said studies have shown marijuana use among teens has shot up where there is legalized medical marijuana use.
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    I see addicts all the time who will go to court with narcs in the pockets. An addict is an addict. Once the pathways in the brain are changed by the behaviors you are engaging, they are changed. Pot, gambling, Oxy's, alcohol, sex, sugar, etc. all can have a permanent effect on the brain. Sure the guy wanted to have another toke, same as the alcoholic wants another drink, or the sex addict has to have sex one more time before going to jail.

    Not every toker is an addict anymore than every wine drinker is alcoholic. Same for other behaviors.

    As for the abuse - abusers abuse. Some will use alcohol or some other behavior to get more fake courage to be the fool who uses fists. Others use non-physical abuse which has been found to be much more damaging than physical. Adrenaline has been shown to have some of these characteristics. See NFL for statistics on players arrested.

    In general, most pot smokers do not become unfriendly or aggressive with use. Where are pot represses many areas of the brain - alcohol does a much better job of depressing inhibitions so the anti social behaviors come out more easily.

    Pot smokers may lack ambition as a result of the drug but it is much more difficult to kill yourself with pot than alcohol. Alcohol hurts many more family members than pot.

    While this is not a reason to legalize, it is a reality. We do not prohibit the use of alcohol. We allow personal choice. We can legislate all we want to but the reality is we cannot control every behavior of the population. This is one battle we lost a long time ago. Accept defeat gracefully, as we did with alcohol.
    tewdles and Elvish like this.
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    Quote from HM-8404
    Before everyone decides legalized pot is a good idea they need to talk to a counselor that deals with teens with drug problems. I talked to one a few months ago and found it interesting.

    I was asked if I have known a chronic pot smoker that started in early to mid teens. Yes, I have a couple of uncles and cousins that are. She asked if they are as mature mentally as others in their age group. Nope.

    She told me that is because the human brain is still developing until approx. the age of 27, not growing physically but neurons and such still making all of its connections. When someone chronically uses a drug that alters the mind be it alcohol, pot, or numerous others it stops those connections. That is why normally you will see someone in their late 20's and older still acting like a teenager. Their brain stopped developing at that stage. It makes sense to me. I know those for legalization will not agree. She also said studies have shown marijuana use among teens has shot up where there is legalized medical marijuana use.
    These are all excellent points. As one who worked in treatment centers and taught this I agree with the statements. I wonder if we see the same statistics for more use or we ask questions in a different way? How about states where it is de-criminalized but not specific for medical use?

    We have not kept children from getting hooked on narcs. We continue to see children starting to smoke cigarettes. The lecture material about pot is interesting but I think you might e speaking to the choir here. None of us want children to have things that impair growth and maturity of brain function. Has it worked to throw them in jail for a bit in a pocket? One of our clients had a tissue with flakes of pot, enough that the tissue tested positive. Is this a reason to throw him in jail? Is it a reason to arrest him?

    Kids who are into sports or music are less likely to get into drugs. So what programs are cut by the schools? Sports and arts.

    I do not believe there is one easy answer. I just know that making criminals out of people in the ways we have is not right.
    herring_RN, Elvish, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from HM-8404
    Before everyone decides legalized pot is a good idea they need to talk to a counselor that deals with teens with drug problems. I talked to one a few months ago and found it interesting.

    I was asked if I have known a chronic pot smoker that started in early to mid teens. Yes, I have a couple of uncles and cousins that are. She asked if they are as mature mentally as others in their age group. Nope.

    She told me that is because the human brain is still developing until approx. the age of 27, not growing physically but neurons and such still making all of its connections. When someone chronically uses a drug that alters the mind be it alcohol, pot, or numerous others it stops those connections. That is why normally you will see someone in their late 20's and older still acting like a teenager. Their brain stopped developing at that stage. It makes sense to me. I know those for legalization will not agree. She also said studies have shown marijuana use among teens has shot up where there is legalized medical marijuana use.
    I work with a nurse practitioner who used to work on a chemical dependency unit who says the same thing. She is particularly good at dealing with our mothers who are still using at time of delivery. You ask them how old they were when they started using, and talk to them as though they are still that age, because mentally, they are still that age. That's when they ceased to have healthy thought and coping patterns. Find me a chronic drinker who started drinking as a teen who acts like a mature adult.

    That said, it doesn't really matter what the substance is. The entire aforementioned argument works just as well whether you are talking alcohol, weed, prescription narcs, or gambling. Addiction, any addiction, short-circuits healthy neurological pathways.

    If you're opposed, be opposed. But the inconsistency, the inability (or unwillingness, or both) to see the similarities between one illegal drug and another perfectly legal one befuddles me.
    herring_RN, ktwlpn, grownuprosie, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from HM-8404
    Before everyone decides legalized pot is a good idea they need to talk to a counselor that deals with teens with drug problems. I talked to one a few months ago and found it interesting.

    I was asked if I have known a chronic pot smoker that started in early to mid teens. Yes, I have a couple of uncles and cousins that are. She asked if they are as mature mentally as others in their age group. Nope.

    She told me that is because the human brain is still developing until approx. the age of 27, not growing physically but neurons and such still making all of its connections. When someone chronically uses a drug that alters the mind be it alcohol, pot, or numerous others it stops those connections. That is why normally you will see someone in their late 20's and older still acting like a teenager. Their brain stopped developing at that stage. It makes sense to me. I know those for legalization will not agree. She also said studies have shown marijuana use among teens has shot up where there is legalized medical marijuana use.
    Ah . . . . then it makes total sense that a guy who started smoking at 10 would ask for one last joint when a compassionate judge was offering him a way to clean up his act.
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    Quote from Elvish
    If you're opposed, be opposed. But the inconsistency, the inability (or unwillingness, or both) to see the similarities between one illegal drug and another perfectly legal one befuddles me.
    Hmmmm .. I'm befuddled too. Seems like I am trying to say there are similarities between one illegal drug and another perfectly legal one and folks are saying the illegal drug is not as bad as the legal one.

    One of my jobs is a school district nurse - I just did an interview with a dad who has two adorable kiddos that I just tested for hearing and vision. Dad stated mom was in the ER more than once with alcohol poisoning with first pregnancy and once with second pregnancy. He's very worried about the legacy of that.

    Obviously, too much alcohol, prescription drugs, pot, meth, etc., have negative consequences.
    tewdles likes this.
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    I keep seeing a comparison between alcohol and marijuana. I have no doubt there are many. Yes alcohol has destroyed many more people and families than marijuana has. Hell it has destroyed more than all other drugs combined. Does anyone think maybe this is because alcohol is legal and easily accessible to pretty much anyone? I wonder what the stats were on alcohol back during prohibition? I am also sure the alcohol problems are much worse today than they were a couple of years after the repeal of prohibition. This makes me wonder what kind of problems we may be facing after 20 years of legalization? Will we have an entire generation of 17 year olds?
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    It has been pretty well established that almost any amount of alcohol in the pregancy, especially the first trimester can cause FAS to some degree. I don't see that this is an argument for or against alcohol or other chemicals or behaviors.

    Spidey's Mom, The discussion of legalizing pot is no more likely to use too much than the use of alcohol. Some people can use chemicals and behaviors without addiction. We tried in this country to criminalize alcohol and it's use. It was a failed experiment. Pot was made a criminal offense as a part of a racist belief system many years ago. I think we have grown beyond that. At least I hope this country has.

    Pot, like every other chemical, is intriniscally neither good or bad. Is eating carrots bad? Yes, if that is all you eat. You will turn yellow and have other issues develop. If you use pot in an addictive way it will cause problems. Same with alcohol. We figured out with alcohol that the price to keep it prohibited was higher than we as a society were willing to pay.

    Instead of worrying so much about the decriminalization or even legalizing of pot let's worry about how we educate our children. We cut out programs that have been shown to lead children in good paths and better grades. We focus on talking about all the bad and punish for any infractions. Why do we as a society do this? Why do we teach parenting classes that are just opposite of this. We teach to be supportive and use alternatives to behaviors we do not want. We teach that discipline includes the fact that the person knows what the outcome will be prior to doing the wrong thing. This is not true in respect to pot. Courts do not always follow the laws. They impose punishments different than what is written. Many cases do not get to court if the police can entice the person to turn in someone else.


    I believe education is the important piece and used properly, without anecdotal tales. Facts. Promote positive choices rather than limit them.
    tewdles likes this.
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    Quote from HM-8404
    Before everyone decides legalized pot is a good idea they need to talk to a counselor that deals with teens with drug problems. I talked to one a few months ago and found it interesting.

    I was asked if I have known a chronic pot smoker that started in early to mid teens. Yes, I have a couple of uncles and cousins that are. She asked if they are as mature mentally as others in their age group. Nope.

    She told me that is because the human brain is still developing until approx. the age of 27, not growing physically but neurons and such still making all of its connections. When someone chronically uses a drug that alters the mind be it alcohol, pot, or numerous others it stops those connections. That is why normally you will see someone in their late 20's and older still acting like a teenager. Their brain stopped developing at that stage. It makes sense to me. I know those for legalization will not agree. She also said studies have shown marijuana use among teens has shot up where there is legalized medical marijuana use.
    Studies have shown that heavy, consistent use of marijuana can impair social development, although this has only been shown to have an effect when use begins at the age of 16 or younger. (All the more reason to replace an 'all-ages' distribution system with one that makes some attempt to limit availability in the underage group). Interestingly, the effect on neurons is the opposite in adults, THC has actually been shown in multiple studies to have a protective effect on neurons. Inhale or Don't?: Marijuana Hurts Some, Helps Others: Scientific American http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=2083
    Marijuana Compound Spurs Brain Cell Growth
    Marijuana May Grow Neurons in the Brain

    There is actually no evidence that use among teens has shot up where there is legalized marijuana. While use among teens has risen nationwide, teen marijuana use in Colorado has actually gone down since they legalized medical marijuana. Another study looking at all states that have legalized medicinal marijuana also found no increases in teen use: Medical marijuana legalization won't boost teen pot use, study finds - HealthPop - CBS News
    As the study I referred to earlier pointed out, a large number of teens find it easier to get pot than alcohol as it is.
    tewdles and grownuprosie like this.
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    Quote from aknottedyarn
    It has been pretty well established that almost any amount of alcohol in the pregancy, especially the first trimester can cause FAS to some degree. I don't see that this is an argument for or against alcohol or other chemicals or behaviors.
    I didn't include it to argue for or against. I already stipulated in the beginning I wasn't going down that road.

    There is actually no evidence that use among teens has shot up where there is legalized marijuana. While use among teens has risen nationwide, teen marijuana use in Colorado has actually gone down since they legalized medical marijuana. Another study looking at all states that have legalized medicinal marijuana also found no increases in teen use: [COLOR=#003366]Medical marijuana legalization won't boost teen pot use, study finds - HealthPop - CBS News
    [/COLOR]
    As the study I referred to earlier pointed out, a large number of teens find it easier to get pot than alcohol as it is.
    I'd like to research that in California. Anecdotally . . .my two nephews who are CHP mention all the time that 18 year old kids have 215 cards. There is an unscrupulous physician who gives out 215 cards w/o even an assessment. He's being investigated.

    My adult kids say it is common for young adults to carry the 215 cards. Simply to get high. I've told my kids that I think using the medicinal marijuana law to get their own high is wrong. As I said before, I don't have a problem with medical marijuana for the most part.

    So I'll have to see if someone has done any research on this.


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