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|Miscellaneous Statements on Drug Policy|
MARIJUANA...THE INSIDIOUS DRUG
(Books Pot Safari and Marijuana Alert, Peggy Mann, McGraw Hill)
Known >300 years for its psychoactivity
a) regular grade
d) Hash oil
Needs heat activation (smoking, tea or brownies)
Currently, plain marijuana up to 9x stronger than in 1973.
reg 0.5% THC 3.5% THC
sensi 6% 10-12%
hashish 8% 15%
oil 15-30% 20-60%
Regular grade...seeds etc. Backyard variety
Sensimilla "preferred" mature seedless female plants grown away
from male. The largest cash crop of California, Oregon and Hawaii
and second nationally behind corn. One plant costs $200 to grow,
worth up to $2500. 25% is grown in US national forests, often
booby-trapped. In 1975 worth $400 per pound, now $3500 per pound.
In Ohio in 1987 25% of plants confiscated, about 255000 plants
left or $540 million.
Hashish...made in Pakistan/Afganistan and imported. Deteriorates
at about 10% per month.
Hash Oil is the concentrated form which is put on a cigarette to
double the potency.
More carcinogens than tobacco. More lung irritation than tobacco.
More number of carcinogens than tobacco.
If ingested has erratic absorption and is deactivated in the
liver like narcotics are...thus less potent but longer high.
If smoked, about 100% of the THC is absorbed into the
pulmonary system and then into the fatty system ie. brain,
testicles and ovaries, heart.
See reddened eyes and increased heart rate due to THC.
THC attaches to the cerebellum, spinal cord and hippocampus.
Hippocampus is responsible for short term memory. If removed--
global amnesia. THC in rats causes brain cell death.
Monkey studies...smoke 5 days/week x 1 year then free x 1
year caused profound lack of interest in learning and no memory.
Same experiment smoking weekend only caused moderade damage and
loss of memory. These were permanent changes.
Does it do this in humans? Our current users will be the
guinea pigs for this experiment. Scientists expect the answer to
EFFECTS IN HUMANS
Affects behavioural mood and memory functions. Decreases cerebral
blood flow while smoking.
Of students failing or leaving school, 1/25 were not pot
users, 3/5 of students regularly smoking pot failed.
Flight simulator and pilors after 1 cigarette...each pilot
did significantly worse with one pilot missing the runway.
Significantly, all pilots thought they were doing very well.
The single greatest risk factor for cocaine abuse is
marijuana use before age 15.
1. Loss of interest, apathy, desire to work
2. Fatigue, loss of energy/tiredness
3. Depression/attacks of rage when provoked
4. Slovenliness in habits and appearance
For chronic users, clearly has been shown that memory tests and
auditory and visual retention tests were poorly done even after 6
weeks of sobriety.
In a study of alcohol/pot related accidents, suggested pot may be
responsible for more accidents than alcohol (due to impaired
In a number of cases, heavy use 4-5x a week up to 15 cigarettes
per cay caused amnesia for the first 7-8 days of sobriety.
Amnesia was not recognized by the user.
Sheba=PCP added. Smells like embalming fluid
Few drops of vinegar in urine will give negative marijuana test
Drug screen 50-75 level CANNOT BE PASSIVE. No false positives. It
is like a fingerprint. In a job screen should always do a
confirmation titer if a screen is positive.
CHEMICALS IN MARIJUANA
421 chemicals. 65 are different cannabinols which are
psychoactive (delta-nine most) Others include non-cannabinols
such as toxins, carcinogens (such as tar, just like the tar on the
road) and inactive or potentiating agents
Alcohol takes 6-8 hours to get out of body
THC is fat-soluble, and 50% will be in the body 1-2 weeks later.
May take up to 4 months to get all out. Heavy use for 6-12 months
will give positive drug screen 4-6 weeks later.
A chronic pot user is raraly sober. Subclinical
intoxication. 2-3 times a week sufficient for this. Level
released from fat as acute level drops. Stored in all fat and
also in the basic building cells of the body.
Damage is DOSE RELATED. Depends on frequency and on
concentration. The more mature the person the less permanent
damage. Symptoms are insidious and subtle and can parallel
adolescent adjustment symptoms. THC exaggerates these symptoms,
makes them more profound and often permanent. Saturation in the
brain causes memory impairment, concentration impairment and
motivation impairment. Can be a major personality change. As the
brain level decreased THC moves from other body fat to the brain
to keep the brain saturated. Can actually prevent the cognitive
changes needed for an adolescent to change to an adult, leaving
him/her with poor social judgement, poor attention span, confusion
and anxiety and loss of train of thought. Occasionally produces
hyperactive/aggressive/agitated person instead of apathy. This
damage can occur in MONTHS rather than years. ALL USERS
REGARDLESS OF AGE AND ABILITY HAVE DECREASED ABILITY IN COMPARISON
TO THEIR POTENTIAL ABILITY. Regression to immaturity can occur
and can be irreversible. A teenager can develop, for example, a
mental age of 11 and thus not be able to complete school work
causing a dropout from school.
Pot more potent than in past years, age of onset much earlier
and thus the profile of a marijuana user is changing.
a) much higher suicidal ideation and depression
b) 1/3 show borderline schizophrenia traits with disorganized
c) Paranoia increasing
d) Lots of similarities to a senile adult. Difference in time
perception (10 minutes seems like 1 hour). Erratic junk foods.
Poor judgement. Cannot self-correct. Much like Altzheimer's
e) As use continues with subacute intoxication, decreasing
cognitive ability, decline in emotional life, much increase in
stubbornness. More fatigue, decreased ability to do complex
tasks, no self-insight, no idea of time and dates, impaired short-
term meory and occasionally long-term as well. With Moderate dose
get profound gross impairment of motor skills. (See how much like
brain-damaged adult?) With high dose can get hallucinations.
Feel that THC may be the cause of massive adolescent psychiatric
problems. MUCH PROOF HERE and much refusal of the user to take
this information seriously...still relying on the information from
the 1960s that THC was not harmful. User does not wish to look
the data straight in the eyes.
Major driving impairments..."behavioural toxicity". The
stoned person does not perceive the dangers. He can briefly hide
the influence and pay attention but easily loses focus. Coming
down from a high may be the worst for motor skills. Occasionally
get a triggered unexpected after-high.
39% more likely to have a driving accident if smoke THC and
drive. Reckless driving, failure to yield, failure to stop.
How to tell if the memory/behavior is THC? STOP for two
months and see if symptoms go away.
1. First stage is exposure.
2. Second stage...the person learns the mood swing, starts to use
it as a drug and seek it and plan for its use = second stage of
3. Third stage..user becomes preoccupied with the mood swing.
Develops tolerance. May use 3-4 x per day up to 15 per day = much
increased tolerance. Develops a preoccupied with chemical
dependence life style.
4. In the fourth stage the addict is using the drug to be NORMAL.
Uses first in the AM, last at night, using it just to function.
*Stages three and four...the patient usually cannot stop on his
own but needs a formal treatment program.
For those who have smoked more than 1000x in three or four years:
70-80% have tried cocaine
1/3 have tried heroin
Only 0-1% of heroin users never smoked pot.
The percentage of use of cocaine is directly related to the
frequency of use of pot.
In stage four with increased tolerance the addict uses more
of the higher grade THC, starts mixing drugs, seeks out more heavy
using friends. The addict is very seriously disabled with social
and psychological disabilities, panic attacks, nausea et.c Ego
deterioration develops (with the denial that the drug causes the
problem, it follows that the person himself must be causing the
problem. This brings out guilt and shame which recycles to use of
See social and school deterioration, dropping off team,
dropping hobbies. Finally psychotic-like fog in thinking.
**This can last as long as two or more years after drug cessation.
SYMPTOMS CHECKLIST FOR LEVEL OF ADDICTION
Three predominant symptoms are
a) progressive chemical use
b) chemically oriented lifestyle
c) increasing tolerance
Parents should be aware...addicted teenager will use avoidance
techniques, visine in eyes, frequently changes the room (more drug
oriented pictures etc) dropping grades.
Often a strong family history of chemical dependency or alcohol
dependency. Usage of THC not hereditary but the addiction
development probably is.
Marijuana is an isolator. Questions asked are "Where did you
get it" and "How can I get some". NOT a drug that explores
feelings. Feelings (mad glad sad) tend to be suppressed.
Treatment must explore feelings and teach its vocabulary. Group
therapy can help.
Treatment must teach alternative ways to cope...how to handle
a headache (user does not handle pain well...has avoided the
feeling of pain in the past). Must set rules and limits. Must
address the amotivational syndrome in the treatment program.
Avoid the assignment to "read a book and write how to talk
with people" but give the assignment to DO the behavior. Remember
the immaturity and the age level caused by the drug when making
Treat the denial. "No big thing" is not true. You have
school failures, family dysfunctions etc.
Work with the twenty harmfuls to get to deal in reality.
encourage that what is real within the group can occur outside of
the group as well.
Contents | Feedback | Search | DRCNet Home Page | Join DRCNet
DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library | Miscellaneous Statements on Drug Policy
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment