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Monday, January 17, 2011

Jared Loughner:Marijuana&Salvia Use,Dangers and History #parents #health #news

From left: Marana Unified School District, via Associated Press; Robert Blanco; Pima County Sheriff's Office via the Arizona Republic, via Associated Press
From left: Marana Unified School District, via Associated Press; Robert Blanco; Pima County Sheriff's Office via the Arizona Republic, via Associated Press

Jared L. Loughner was described as a curious teenager and talented saxophonist with a prestigious high school jazz band. When he was arrested after the shooting, a deputy detected no remorse.

Marijuana is filled with chemicals which can trigger psychosis in some individuals with mental instability. Jared Loughner was reportedly a daily user of smoking pot and known to use salvia. [Several of Jared’s friends said he used marijuana, mushrooms and, especially, the hallucinogenic herb called Salvia divinorum.] When smoked or chewed, the plant Salvia, can cause brief but intense highs. So between his erratic behavior, alcohol use, and use of hallucinogenic drugs like salvia and marijuana it sounds like Jared Loughner was slipping further into his own disgruntled world from reality into a fantasy world he could relate to and thought he could control. However, the drugs and his irrational mental state obsessed him and eventually got the best of him. I wonder if we will ever know if he was on any drugs at the time of his arrest, although salvia,unlike marijuana, is undetectable since it doesn't show up in drug tests.

Salvia is 'psychoactive', which means that it is a substance that effects mood, alertness, thinking, emotion, or perception, most psychoactive substances are not hallucinogenic. Salvia produces a unique state of  'divine inebriation' which has been traditionally used by Mazatec healers. Salvia is not a recreational drug, rather, it is best used by those wishing to explore deep meditative states, spiritual realms, mysticism, the nature of consciousness and reality, or the possibilities of shamanistic healing. Experiences vary with the individual, set, and setting as well as with dose and route of administration. It produces a short-lived inebriation that is very different from that of alcohol. However, like alcohol it interferes with the ability to drive, produces incoordination (ataxia), and may produce slurred speech.

While Jared is known to use salvia, this covers the effects of marijuana on an individual with possible psychosis. Marijuana contains, THC, the chemical in this plant that produces the altered states of consciousness is called "delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol", the major psychoactive ingredient, and ammonia greater than tobacco,hydrogen cyanide is also found in marijuana greater than tobacco, there is mercury in marijuana, chromium,lithium and over 400 other chemicals in it. There is no scientific evidence marijuana can help any medical cause. This is according to scientific research and analysis of chemicals found in marijuana when smoked.

Marijuana smoke is more toxic than cigarettes. Marijuana users may smoke less than cigarette users, but each puff they take from a joint contains more toxins than the average cigarette. Marijuana smoke has seven times more tar and carbon monoxide, toxic chemicals, than cigarette smoke and the health risks of smoking three joints are about equal to the risks from a whole pack of cigarettes, according to a French National Consumers' Institute study. Tobacco, rather nicotine, the active chemical in tobacco, is very addicting both physically and psychologically. Marijuana (THC) is not physically addictive but can be psychologically addictive in some users.

The term hashish comes from an Arabic word; marijuana use is known to cause violent crimes in countries who have overthrown their governments, and is highly dangerous, especially on someone, like Jared Loughner, with a mental illness it can cause psychosis.

Here is a brief history of the use of marijuana in the Arabic world and the relation to violence:

~680 – Cannabis use spread across the middle east with the expansion of Islamic faith.

~1000 – The recreational use of hashish was well documented in the Arabic world.

~1271 – Marco Polo wrote about the story of the Old Man of the Mountains in Persia. The story tells of the Hashshashin, now known as the Assasins, known for their consumption of cannabis and ruthless cruelty. Despite the name, it is not certain if they even used hashish at all. ‘Hassass’ is the Arabic verb for ‘to kill’, and this is another proposed derivation for the word ‘assassin’.

1809 – An Arabic scholar identified the word ‘assasin’ with hashish and Hashshashin, and published his findings to the Institute of France on May 19.He brought into modern times the belief that the Assassins were hash users, and it evoked their brutal ways.

Brief History of Hashish/Marijuana in America in relation to violence:

1849 – Chinese brought opium smoking to America with the California Gold Rush, and white Americans identified opium smoking with the Chinese foreigners. They were considered the ‘yellow peril’, slowly degenerating and destroying white American society.

1854 – Bayard Taylor, the first American to write about hashish, accidentally overdosed and had a horrific experience. He published a story called ‘The Hasheesh Eater’ (sometimes referred to as ‘The Vision of Hasheesh’) in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine the following year. Fitz Ludlow experimented with hashish for the first time this year, (Tilden’s Extract), and then enticed his friends at Union College to do so as well.

1900s-the Spanish and Portuguese that brought it into the main stream. Cannabis was popular in Mexico by now, and it slowly crept up into Texas and the southern states. Jazz musicians were using marijuana in this time, and slaves and laborers began to seek it was opium and cocaine became harder to obtain.

1916 – Pancho Villa, who helped Francisco Madero overthrow Diaz but later was arrested by General Victoriano Huerta, escaped prison and fled to America where he attacked the military outpost of Columbus, New Mexico with the help of troops that were loyal to him. A well known Mexican folk song tells the story of Villa’s foot soldiers, titled ‘La Cucaracha’, and this is where the American slang for a joint butts comes from – a roach.

1927 – In and around this time, it was commonly believed that marijuana made the Mexicans insane, and was the cause of crime and violence in society. See ‘Mexican family goes insane’, New York Times - datelined Mexico City, July 6th 1927.

1937-William C. Woodward of the American Medical Association strongly opposed the Marihuana Tax Act, saying it had no scientific basis and was rushed with undue haste. It didn’t help that AMA was mostly Republican and the administration was Democratic, and thus the objections were overruled, and the bill was guided through Senate by the chairman who was a close friend of Du Pont.

According to a Harvard Law report in a recreational context, marijuana has been shown to affect health, brain function, and memory.

And in a medical context, marijuana is like any other powerful prescription drug: it has potentially dangerous side effects, and the decision to use it to treat patients must involve the same balancing test as the one required for chemotherapy or AZT: do the therapeutic effects of the drug outweigh its harmful effects?

Though there are many more studies to be done on this issue, current data shows that the answer to this question may not always be "yes."

Additionally, studies further suggest that marijuana is a general "immunosuppressant". Well-supported scientific studies conclude that the use of marijuana as a medical therapy can and does have a very serious negative effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits resulting from AIDS, organ transplantation, or cancer chemotherapy, the very conditions for which marijuana has most often been touted and suggested as a treatment.

In conclusion, it seems that the potential dangers presented by the medical use of marijuana may actually contribute to the dangers of the diseases which it would be used to combat.

Therefore, [it is] suggested that marijuana should not be permitted as a therapy, at least until a good deal more conclusive research has been completed concerning its debilitating effect on the immune system.

For more on this topic, please see Donald P. Tashkin, M.D., "Effects of Marijuana on the Lung and Its Immune Defenses," Secretary's Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Intiative: Resource Papers, March 1997, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Pages 33-51 of this address can be found at the website of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University, located at http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/druginfo/tashkin- marijuana.html.

The main respiratory consequences of smoking marijuana regularly (one joint a day) are pulmonary infections and respiratory cancer, whose connection to marijuana use has been strongly suggested but not conclusively proven.

In addition, Marijuana has long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness, such as bipolar (manic-depressive) psychosis and schizophrenia.

This connection with mental illness should make health care providers for terminally ill patients and the patients themselves, who may already be suffering from some form of clinical depression, weigh very carefully the pros and cons of adopting a therapeutic course of marijuana.

In the short term, marijuana use impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, and learning; memory defects may persist six weeks after last use.

Mental disorders connected with marijuana use merit their own category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association.

These include Cannabis Intoxication (consisting of impaired motor coordination, anxiety, impaired judgment, sensation of slowed time, social withdrawal, and often includes perceptual disturbances; Cannabis Intoxication Delirium (memory deficit, disorientation); Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Delusions; Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Hallucinations; and Cannabis Induced Anxiety Disorder.

According to research and reports acquired by educationvoices.org here is more on the chemicals in marijuana and the potential threat it creates on an individual.

Street Names: "Pot," "Grass," "Weed," "Mary Jane," "Acapulco Gold," "Bud," "Dope," "Hydro," and "Reefer"

"...most parents are amazed at the extent of marijuana use by their son or daughter. In almost every case, parents thought that their student only used occasionally. Almost always, student use of marijuana was much greater than parents thought or were willing to admit." Marijuana - An Educator's Perspective

(Click for the complete story.)

Chemical Composition: Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. It contains over 400 different chemicals from which over 60 are identified as cannabinoids, chemicals specific to the cannabis plant. One of the cannabinoids, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is considered the major psychoactive ingredient.

Marijuana smoke contains toxic chemicals: carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, phenol, creosol and naphthalene.

Tobacco-like marijuana is made from the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant.

Characteristics: Marijuana is much more potent today than it was in the '60s and '70s when the THC content ranged from 0.3 percent to 3 percent. Today, the THC content is typically 5-10 percent but can reach as high as 30 percent with high-tech growing methods.

Within a few minutes of smoking marijuana a person may feel intoxicated and or euphoric lasting two to three hours. Some report feeling thirsty, hungry (the munchies) and sleepy. They can experience dizziness, nausea, relaxation, increased sociability, heightened sensory perception and time distortions.

Marijuana is addictive, with known dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

"I was deeply unhappy, but since pot had long since destroyed my ability to feel real emotions, I couldn't admit to myself how unhappy I was. Instead, I just looked forward to the next toke." "Love Affair " - A Recovering Addict

(Click for the complete story.)

Methods of Use: The plant material is dried and then rolled into a cigarette. A cigar may be sliced open and the tobacco replaced with marijuana (blunt). Marijuana is used in food and brewed as tea.

Hashish is made from the sticky resin of the female plant flowers; the resin is rich in THC. The resin is collected, dried, and compressed into shapes and then pieces are broken off and put in pipes to be smoked. The THC level can range up to 28 percent.

Hash oil is distilled from the Cannabis plant material using a solvent. A drop or two of the dark liquid on a cigarette is comparable to a marijuana cigarette. The THC level averages 16 percent but can reach much higher levels.

Risks: The THC in marijuana is, unlike other drugs, fat-soluble; it stays stored in the body's fat cells for weeks, even months.

Marijuana contains more carcinogens than a tobacco cigarette.

Marijuana alone impairs driving. Alcohol and marijuana together produce higher intoxication than marijuana alone or alcohol alone. Studies show that low to moderate doses of alcohol and THC in combination is exceedingly dangerous and renders a driver incapable of driving safely.

The THC in marijuana has the capacity to decrease sperm production and increase abnormal sperm cells. It disrupts hormone cycles in females.

Marijuana compromises the immune system. It permanently impairs the immune system by inhibiting the formation of DNA in germ cells (lymphocytes).

Mental and emotional deterioration can occur causing a personality change that includes apathy, aimlessness, passivity, lack of ambition and an inability to communicate.

"I compare my use with a love affair because there truly was romance involved. When I was stoned, everything seemed larger-than-life. I felt like I was starring in a spy movie and comedy at the same time." "Love Affair" - A Recovering Addict

(Click for the complete story.)

Marijuana impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, learning and motor coordination. The users have difficulty sorting out information, synthesizing and classifying information correctly, and understanding subtle shades of meaning. It can take up to six weeks to regain normal functioning.

"Without exception, students were doing relatively well with their grades in junior high school. Often the ninth grade year went well. But, a definite pattern emerges. Once students started using marijuana, grades declined rapidly, school attendance became a problem, most dropped out of extracurricular activities, problems with police were common, and conflict within the family was almost always admitted." Marijuana - An Educator's Perspective

(Click for the complete story.)

Marijuana is a gateway drug that can lead to other drugs.

"A guy named Thoreau said, 'I can't make my days longer, so I can only try to make them better.' I'm pretty sure he didn't smoke weed." "Love Affair" - A Recovering Addict

(Click for the complete story.)

Sources:

Marijuana and Medicine
Edited by: Gabriel G. Nahas,
Kenneth M. Sutin, David J.
Harvey, Stig Agurell
Humana Press
Totowa, New Jersey 07512

Federal Register
"Denial of Petition: Notice"
Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Agency
April 18, 2001
www.dea.gov

"The Dangers of Marijuana"
Educating Voices, Inc.
P.O. Box 6084
Naperville, IL 60567
April 2000


www.educatingvoices.com

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIH Publication Number 98-4037
Printed in 1995, Revised in November 1998


www.drugabuse.gov

"Marijuana, Alcohol and Actual Driving Performance"
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
DOT HS 808 939 July 1999

Related

Marijuana Damages DNA And May Cause Cancer, New Test Reveal

Jun 15, 2009 ... Researchers note that toxic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA ... as users tend to inhale more deeply than cigarette smokers, ... Marijuana Smoke Contains Higher Levels Of Certain Toxins Than Tobacco Smoke

For more information about marijuana, see:

  1. Diaz, J. How Drugs Influence Behavior. A Neuro-Behavioral Approach, Upper Saddle River (NJ): Prentice Hall, 1997.
  2. Marijuana: Facts for Teens - from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  3. Marijuana: Facts for Parents - from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  4. Marijuana Facts for Parents - from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  5. Marijuana Update from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  6. What's Your Poison - Marijuana

Researched and compiled by @littlebytesnews




 
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