Richard at WowMe.com
Wed Dec 8 03:40:59 PST 1999
----- Original Message -----
From: <isenhour at uiuc.edu>
> Richard typed:
> Most people I know still believe that marijuana leads to brain damage.
> They don't understand that it lowers the Glutamine level in the brain
> causing slower thought processes, etc.
> This is not the subject for this gruit:) I personally know people who
> have lost huge funding because they faild to find "brain damage" in
> pot smokers. Pointing to one global glutamine receptor change (whole
> brain studies or what?) prove nothing at all. I worked with patch-clamp
> glutamine/gaba receptor researchers at StL Med U. and I cannot
> figure out where this propaganda came from.
I think we are saying the same thing. I am certainly trying to make the point that marijuana DOES NOT cause permanent brain damage and that it was propaganda. I don't know if I was clear on that or if I am not reading your post right.
As far as it's origins, look to DuPont. They had developed a new fabric that was cheap to make and that they saw a huge world market for, but they were unable to get this fabric into the mainstream because hemp was so popular at the time. It was strong, cheap and readily available, why switch? At one time in U.S. history hemp was so vital to the economy that some states like Virginia had laws against land owners failing to grow it if they had the land to do so. DuPont was faced with either giving up on this lucrative market and abolishing the result of years and many dollars of research or competing against hemp. They decided to begin a smear campaign against hemp and it's closest relative marijuana. They lobbied congress and showed all the "dangers" of pot smoking, etc. Unlike prohibition of alcohol, this time people really were scared and since the larger part of the population didn't partake in marijuana it was easy to assume that those who did were monsters. There were movies produced with funding from DuPont that showed people who were high committing heinous acts of violence, etc. They illustrated people who smoked as madmen and craze stricken. These fears survive to this day. Note the recent Washington, D.C. public vote on whether to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal use. Even though he wasn't a representative from that region, Bob Barr strong-armed a law that suppressed the results of that vote. (Taxation without representation? A government for the people by the people?)
The reason I bring this up here is that it answers your question and that it closely parallels the conversations that have been going on about prohibition and unfair substance laws. Although this drug is not for me (too close to hops <haha>) it's dangers are extremely minimal and most are related to the massive amounts of tar it leaves in the lungs. Just as honey beer isn't going to hurt anyone, a beaureacratic stance is almost impossible to break, whether it makes sense or not.
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