|Steve Elliott ~alapoet~|
|For best results, apply more marijuana.|
It’s already been a wacky year for marijuana coverage in the mainstream media, and we’re barely more than two weeks deep into 2012.
Already we have three major contenders for Dumbest Pot Story of the Year, which certainly points to an interesting year ahead in the cannabis information wars.
Do we really need a study on the best cure for “cannabis withdrawal”? Do people really choose to use marijuana because they were born with abnormally small brains? And speaking of brains, did you know that THC coats your brain cells and makes it hard for you to think, at least according to a self-appointed “drug expert”/counselor in Colorado?
There’s a lot of rank ignorance out there to wade through, and it ain’t pretty. Let’s put on our hippest hip boots, shall we?
The clear winner, so far, is the impending study from Australia on the efficacy of using… wait for it… cannabis to treat cannabis “withdrawal”!
Now There’s A Drug For Cannabis Withdrawal.
Yeah, It’s Cannabis.
But It Costs A Lot More, and It’s From Big Pharma.
In what they crowed was a “world first,” researchers from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, based at the University of South Wales in Australia, are leading a study (ka-CHING) “to determine whether the pharmaceutical drug Sativex can help people better manage cannabis withdrawal symptoms as a platform for ongoing abstinence.”
|Sativex contains THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio, but no other cannabinoids|
Seems that this huge, pressing problem of marijuana addicts going through the horrors of withdrawal (wait, what? exactly) warranted an expensive study.
“It is estimated that there are at least 200,000 people dependent on cannabis in Australia, with one in 10 people who try the drug at least once in their lifetime having problems ceasing use,” the NCPIC “knowledgeably” tells us.
Sounds like they are having visions of a big, profitable customer base. Switch all 200,000 of those damn hippies from herbal cannabis over to pharmaceutical Sativex (for all practical purposes, liquid cannabis; Sativex’s cannabinoid mix is reportedly 50/50 between THC and CBD), and suddenly they represent respectable profit rather than just useless “addicts”!
Now, never mind that “cannabis withdrawal” has never been a real problem, even for heavy users of the herb. At most, such effects involve a diminution of appetite and — surprise, surprise! — some sleep disturbances, particularly among those who were using marijuana as a sleep aid to begin with, which shouldn’t be that shocking, now should it?
Meanwhile, from Planet Dumbass, NCPIC director Professor Jan Copeland tells us, “One of the major barriers for regular cannabis users when they try you quit is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms may include sleep difficulties, cravings and mood swings and although these are not life threatening, they are significant enough to cause marked distress and lead people to go back to using the drug.”
|Make those cannabis cravings go away… with liquid cannabis!|
Translation: People who enjoy using cannabis would rather use cannabis than not use it. Earth-shattering work, there, Professor Copeland! What would we cannabis-impaired addicts do without your keen insights, sir?!
Anyway, back to Professor Dopeland, I mean Copeland’s, wisdom:
“There is currently no targeted drug available to assist with cannabis withdrawal,” the professor tells us. “Tobacco smokers have nicotine replacement therapies to assist them when they stop cigarette smoking and opiate users have synthetic opioids like methadone. This study will investigate whether a pharmaceutical preparation of botanical cannabis known as Sativex has the potential to help cannabis users in a similar way.”
Well, Prof, how much cash are you getting for this research, again? You think, that just possibly, it may help cannabis users’ feelings to give them cannabis?? I can see your advanced education isn’t wasted, with a razor-sharp intellect like that!
Australians, your “National Health and Medical Research Council” is funding this nonsense, likely straight from your pockets. (By the way, they are “recruiting participants for the limited places available,” which requires admission to a hospital in either Sydney or Newcastle for one week free of charge. See the NCPIC link above for details.)
Sativex, which is administered through a mouth spray, is already registered for use in Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom as treatment for neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis patients. Of course, if you included “withdrawing cannabis addicts” in your customer base, the potential profitability to Big Pharma trough-feeders GW Pharmaceutical suddenly gets a lot bigger.
Cannabis Users Born With Smaller Brains?
Hey man, wondering why you like cannabis so much? It’s because your brain isn’t big enough for you to know that it’s a bad idea! Yeah, they spent money on reaching this interesting conclusion.
One of the absolute dumbest stories of the recent past, and coming in at a strong second for silliest of the year so far, is another Australian study (what’s up Down Under, anyway?) publicized in the December 31 edition of the Daily Mail which claims that cannabis users were born with the front parts of the brains six percent smaller compared to those who do not “go on to use cannabis.”
“The difference in size may mean the brain is not as effective, so children with a smaller orbitofrontal cortex could be more impulsive and less capable of carefully calculated decision-makin
g,” Jo MacFarlane soberly reports at the Daily Mail.
g,” Jo MacFarlane soberly reports at the Daily Mail.
“In turn, this could make them more likely to experiment with cannabis.”
So it’s impaired judgment due to that tiny brain of yours that makes you SMOKE DOPE!
Now, never mind that numerous studies have shown cannabis users, on average, to have higher IQs and higher-paying jobs than non-users.
It seems that “the discovery could serve as an early-warning system to help identify those most at risk of becoming addicts.”
How, errrm, “helpful,” eh?
The research, carried out in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, was part of a wider four-year study into the emotional development of children.
‘Certified Addictions Counselor’ Claims ‘THC Coats Your Brain Cells’
If we actually needed any more proof that they’ll hand out these bogus certificates to any moron with a couple hundred bucks, “Certified Addictions Counselor” Scott Aber, in a story covering the supposed problem of “marijuana impaired driving,” helpfully lets us know that cannabis does all sorts of unpleasant things to our thinking organs.
Now, never mind that legitimate scientific studies have shown that not only is cannabis a neuroprotectant, meaning it’s good for your brain cells, and helps to protect them from damage by substances like alcohol, but also that it seems to be involved in neurogenesis — that is, it stimulates your brain to grow new cells.
But, back to Dumbassville.
“Marijuana drivers actually have a slower response time,” the eager-to-show-off-his-drug-knowledge “Certified Addictions Counselor” Aber, who apparently runs something called “Alpha Center Counseling Services,” tells us. (Down in the address at the bottom of the page, the name of the outfit is given as “Alpha Center Psychologial [sic]Services.”)
“What happens is the THC coats your brain cells, so they can’t connect as quickly, or some can’t connect at all in heavy users,” Aber told wide-eyed KREX News Channel 5 reporter Cori Coffin, who didn’t bother to call him on his bullshit.
If you’d like to do that — or if your brain cells are all gummed up with THC, and you need Scott’s help cleaning it the hell offa there — his email address is [email protected]. (Wow, somebody’s still on AOL?)
Editor’s note: Thanks to the indispensable Shannie Lammie for her research assistance.