Marijuana, Natural or Unnatural? Challenging Bill Hicks.
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Marijuana, Natural or Unnatural? Challenging Bill Hicks.

Check out Bill Hicks.  He is obviously a comedian.  We appreciate comedians as folks who often high light truth with humor.  We admit that as a class of mammals, us humans can be pretty ridiculous.  In this youtube clip Bill Hicks expounds the virtues of marijuana.

Listen to this and we will visit the logic on the other side.

He is sort of funny, but he makes some statements as if they are fundamental know truths when they are not. For instance, Hicks says that marijuana grows naturally upon our planet – so why is it against the law? He is pretty funny, suggesting that making nature against the law is a ‘bit paranoid.’ He reports that marijuana “serves a thousand different functions, all of them positive.” It is a cute line – but fundamentally wrong.

To understand the truth we have to do some research – here is a good place to start.  We can know that the active drug in marijuana, I think it is referred to as THC, does have some medical uses.  It seems to relieve pain in some cases, and stops schizophrenics who hear voices from hearing the voices.  Some report help with Alzheimer’s Disease and multiple  sclerosis, there are a variety of such proclamation.  Those uses seem helpful.

We can also know that marijuana has many problematic side effects.  Smoking marijuana is many times more toxic than smoking tobacco, the tar deposited in the lungs is more concentrated.  Marijuana is mood altering, often leading to loss of interest in daily activities, reducing ambition, promoting huge college drop out rates, and leading to unfulfilled lives.  I have known 29 year old men, smoking marijuana, reporting that they are going to be a neurosurgeon when they graduate from college.  They have not been in college in ten years, have no definite plans of returning, and wistfully daydream of the future while stoned on THC.

The issue of addictiveness is of great concern.  We have to understand what addiction means in the context of marijuana – and what are the harmful side effects.  It seems that marijuana is addictive – and causes serious social, occupational, and medical problems.

The point of this post is not to discredit marijuana as being medically beneficial (with think it is).  The point is to be careful about taking advice from comedians like Bill Hicks.

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. “Smoking marijuana is many times more toxic than smoking tobacco, the tar deposited in the lungs is more concentrated. ”

    I had smoked for many years until I quit about a year and a half ago. Over those years, I probably smoked an average of one pack per day. I think this is pretty typical for a smoker. I had also been a pot user in the past. Now, a pack contains 20 cigarettes. I can’t imagine anyone ever smoking 20 joints a day.

  2. The problem with the competing facts is that both sides put it out as solid and unwavering fact.

    True, marijuana may be addictive, but only psychologically. It is nowhere near as potent as nicotine or cocaine – which are severely physically addictive.

    And to be fair, I know more people who have had their college studies severely impacted by excessive alcohol consumption than marijuana consumption. Sure, some people will smoke and drop out – but at least you don’t get the fatalities that alcohol causes. The biggest issue here is self-control – which is instilled by parents over a lifetime. College students will always find ways to circumvent the laws, so more law is not the solution.

    There are ways of consuming marijuana that do not cause the inhalation of those toxic tars (for example vaporizers). Like Lily said, people who smoke pot smoke much much less than people who smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes are also filtered, so they help prevent some tars from entering the lungs.

    So the ‘tar’ aspect can be neutralized by vaporization or better filters. And I have never seen data that proves that marijuana promotes “huge college drop out rates”. In fact, everyone (except for one, who had many other problems) I know who smoked during college has graduated and is leading a successful career.

    And for those who say marijuana is mood altering – consider a pack-a-day smoker who hasn’t smoked all day. Or a pot-a-day coffee drinker who hasn’t had a cup all day. If those moods aren’t altered, I don’t know what is.

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