Health Problems Caused by Marijuana Use

One of our clients is Dr. Anita Mary Pepi, DC, who puts out a regular health tips newsletter, with good advice about nutrition, health and so on. The newsletter I received today about health problems with regular marijuana use was an eye-opener. I haven’t used marijuana since about 1970 (fortunately some friends at the time rolled up their sleeves and helped to save me from addiction, for which I am still very grateful).

I had no idea that today’s marijuana can be expected to be up to 10 times stronger than the weed was “back in the day”. There’s a long list of health complaints to be expected from regular use of marijuana. Citing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the main active chemical, THC,

“Regular chronic use may result in reproductive effects in males including decreased testicular size, testosterone levels, sperm count and motility, and abnormalities in sperm.” To say nothing of getting man-boobs.

“Females may experience a high frequency of abnormal periods, less ovulation and decreased prolactin levels.” (which means that the pituitary is degenerating and producing less of its hormone, prolactin.)

“Repeated ingestion may result in… “apathy, dullness, anxiety, panic, aggressiveness, disorientation, confusion, clouding of mental processes with impaired judgement and memory, loss of perspective, reduced motivation and acute insecurity.”

That last bit describes pretty accurately how I felt when using marijuana and hashish in 1970. I had quite a few panic attacks, and was acutely insecure.

I have some relatives now that are chronic pot-heads. “Dullness, disorientation, confusion, clouding of mental processes, reduced motivation” describes them pretty well. Couple that with aggressiveness and it’s not a pretty picture, although quite accurate.
My belief is that drugs like marijuana, even though harmful to people, should not be made illegal, because making them illegal creates the economic environment that makes it profitable to grow/manufacture and distribute them.

Which is not to say that drug testing of employees should be stopped; many jobs (airline pilots, bus drivers, police, judges, firemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses) should have regular drug testing as part of the requirements for employement. Which is a private matter between the employer and employee. But drug usage will drop off when drugs are legalized; or so I believe. Who in their right mind would be promoting drug usage, if there’s no monetary incentive for it?

If you could walk into any drug store and walk out with a cheap supply of heroin, cocaine, or crystal meth, the drug trade and narco-terrorists would have no monetary incentive to be importing their business to the USA.

I think we’d have to stop all drug advertising on TV and radio. Aren’t we all sick of ads for drugs, anyway? How else could big pharma make billions of dollars on drugs that they know are unsafe, don’t usually work, and actually make patients worse?

Should anti-drug laws be repealed? They’re moving down this road in The Netherlands; I’m curious how that will work out for them.

What’s your view about this?

2 Responses to Health Problems Caused by Marijuana Use

  1. Peter A. Sagi January 5, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Exactly right! Legalize drugs, treat people as adults. In addition to some of the downsides to chronic use, there are some legitimate medical uses for all of these things. I have known some folk who have medical conditions that require continual use of marijuana. They don’t smoke it, they extract the active via boiling in clarified butter and use that to make muffins. These chronic users don’t experience the downside that some recreational users experience who smoke it, and in some instances get relief from some painful conditions.

    Meth is another one … the abusers will use 50mg+ doses, but a user may only need 5 mg. If you have ever had a situation where you absolutely need to be alert and awake for an extended period of time, that 5mg of methamphetamine will get you thru.

    Morphine and heroin are also useful as effective pain killers.

    B0ttom line … all of these subsbtances can be of great value if used sparingly and only as needed. It is up to the individual and perhaps his medical practitioner and the govt. need not get involved with prohibitions. And the govt. knows exactly what it is doing considering alchohol prohibition. Their agenda has nothing to do with keeping people safe.


  2. Jere Matlock January 5, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Hi, Pete –

    Again, I see your point and disagree with some of it.

    This is not really a forum for legalizing all drugs, although I sometimes think that the only solution is to legalize pretty much all drugs (which removes all the big money from the equation). I’m not in favor of drug usage, although some of them have great usability. Television these days is pretty much paid for by drug companies with their 2 minute commercials that list all the side effects. All the major magazines are paid for by drug ads. We need to make the boards of directors and marketing people at the drug companies personally liable for their criminality. Even so, with the billions of dollars that the drug companies make by pushing defective, harmful and ineffective drugs, there needs to be some other way to hold them accountable because I don’t think that holding the individuals personally accountable would make any perceptible difference in the behavior of big pharma.

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