You really shouldn’t have smoked that whole joint by yourself.
1. Before it really kicks in, you make big plans to be productive…
Which lasts about five minutes.
2. Like you actually can’t get off the couch.
3. Sleeping. Eating. Watching cartoons. This is your life now.
4. Seriously, you can’t stop eating.
5. Plus you make terrible dietary choices.
7. Except getting another bag of chips.
8. And the quality of the weed you’re smoking.
9. Nothing anyone says makes any sense.
10. Because it takes about 20 minutes to process a simple thought.
11. MeSource: biggaysteve666.tumblr.comanwhile you stop making sense to anyone else.
12. They can tell you’re stoned, and they’re JUDGING YOU.
13. You think you’re being really profound, but you’re not.
14. And everything becomes HILARIOUS.
15. Like, so ridic funny. Like, you may never stop laughing.
16. You’re easily entertained by the STUPIDEST things.
17. And believe me, NO ONE ELSE is amused.
18. Then you start to get really, really paranoid.
19. Like you’re no longer sure you remember how to breathe.
20. You don’t remember anything else either.
21. You start to feel like you’re incapable of doing anything that ISN’T getting high.
22. And, I mean, that’s kind of true.
23. But you somehow convince yourself that marijuana is a performance enhancer.
24. You forget how to behave sober.
25. All the while you hope for some once-in-a-lifetime stoned experience.
26. And instead you end up wasting hours on YouTube and staring off into space.
27. But let’s face it, you were going to do that, anyway.
The Irony of this story is that most of the drug trade is controlled by state officials
YANGON – Myanmar has delayed by five years its deadline to eliminate drug production within its borders, a senior official said Monday, as the impoverished nation struggles to stem a growing narcotics crisis.
Authorities are “very concerned” about a rebound in poppy cultivation over the last six years in Myanmar, the world’s second-largest opium producer, while amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) are also surging, said deputy police chief Zaw Win.
Due to “threats posed by ATS” and to achieve a reduction in poppy cultivation, Myanmar’s narcotic control board has “extended its drug elimination to 2019”, he said at the opening of six nation talks in Yangon. The previous target was 2014.
He added that Myanmar’s authorities were “doing our best” to help stem the flow of drugs in the region.
Officials from China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have gathered in Myanmar for days of talks on a worsening drugs crisis, which the United Nations has warned poses a threat to public security.
A ministerial-level meeting in the capital Nya Pyi Taw on Thursday is expected to produce a regional declaration on the issue.
Zaw Win told delegates that it was “crystal clear that (the) methamphetamine problem is growing rapidly”, adding that “more and more international drug syndicates are becoming involved”.
“Illicit drug production and trafficking are closely linked to instability, human security and insurgency at the border areas, which creates serious challenges to the ability of law enforcement agencies,” he said.
The drugs trade is closely linked to Myanmar’s long-running insurgencies in remote areas bordering Thailand, Laos and China – known as the golden triangle – with ethnic minority rebels widely thought to use drug profits to fund operations.
As part of its reform drive, Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government has reached tentative peace deals with most major armed ethnic groups.
But Gary Lewis, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in December said the ease of production of methamphetamine in small laboratories, along with distrust between the rebels and authorities meant that some groups could decide to “hedge their bets”.
Around 5.9 million methamphetamine pills were seized in Myanmar in 2011, almost double the figure for the previous year, the UN said in a December report, although seizures are likely to represent only a fraction of the amount produced.
Myanmar was once the world’s largest producer of illicit opium until it was replaced by Afghanistan in 1991. But after years of decline, poppy cultivation again began to rise in 2007.
When a new drug gets tested, the results of the trials should be published for the rest of the medical world – except much of the time, negative or inconclusive findings go unreported, leaving doctors and researchers in the dark.
In this impassioned talk, Ben Goldacre explains why these unreported instances of negative data are especially misleading and dangerous.
Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. Unpicking bad science is the best way to explain good science.
He is known for his “Bad Science” column in The Guardian, and is the author of two books, Bad Science (2008), a critique of certain forms of alternative medicine, and Bad Pharma (2012), an examination of the pharmaceutical industry, its publishing and marketing practices, and its relationship with the medical profession.
Pharmaceutical antidepressants are usually among a class of varied chemicals known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin is the feel good central nervous system neurotransmitter that is produced in the body.
The phrase re-uptake inhibitor is confusing to most of us laypersons. Why does inhibiting a feel good chemical make someone feel less depressed?
The SSRIs purportedly modulate and redistribute serotonin, keeping it from being taken in by some neuron receptors and leaving that extra serotonin free for chemical synapse activity in the brain.
There are various SSRI drugs under several brand names such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Lexapro, Effexor, and Celexa. These drugs are commonly prescribed throughout the world for depression, anxiety, compulsive obsessive disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
They are also often prescribed to keep school kids “manageable.” Maybe the fluoride molecules in most SSRIs is supposed to keep them docile and dumb. But antidepressants among young people have been linked to many school shootings and other killing sprees, as well as suicides and suicide attempts.
Besides the standard pharmaceutical side effects of nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, insomnia, weight gain, and mania, a “black box” warning, which is meant for medical practitioners, states that SSRIs can cause suicidal and homicidal thought. Class action lawyers are getting more action.
The trade-off is for those side effects is way out of balance because the efficacy of these psychotropic drugs has been questioned and effectively challenged often.
Now, a recent study has disclosed the strangest side effect possible for a psychotropic drug: brittle bones.
Chill out and maybe break a leg
A recent March 2013 post by saveourbones.com featured the results of a 2007 Canadian study that determined the risk factor for fracturing bones was doubled among those using SSRIs.
According to the Canadian study: “Functional serotonin receptors and the serotonin transporter have been localized to osteoblasts and osteocytes, and serotonin seems to modulate the skeletal effects of parathyroid hormone and mechanical stimulation.”
Translation: Inhibiting serotonin from normal receptors has a negative impact on bone production.
This is compounded by the fact that people who are depressed tend to show higher markers of inflammation. Inflammation weakens bones and produces other chronic autoimmune diseases.
The “chill out” in this section’s title refers to the fact that a New England Journal of Medicine meta-analysis in 2008 had determined that efficacy reports on antidepressants were unreliable and misleading.
Even more damning was a report by psychologist Irving Kirsch, associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School. Kirsh determined that for mild to moderate cases of depression, virtually all the SSRI positive changes were from the placebo effect and not the chemicals.
Some minor chemical efficacy was found among those with severe depression. But the majority of SSRI prescriptions are dispensed to a population with mild and moderate levels of depression or anxiety and disruptive classroom kids.
The trade-off with side effect potential is much more risk than result.
Natural remedies for depression
St. John’s wort is the most commonly accepted natural depression and anxiety relief herbal remedy. Homeopathic remedies should be determined by a trained homeopath. A controversial solution is the powerful herb Kratom. Find out more here:
Improving diet goes a long way for staying out of depression. Studies have determined that junk food consumers tend to be more depressed than healthy eaters. Include healthy fats, especially omega-3, in your healthy diet.
Sunshine exposure helps mood considerably. If seasonal conditions inhibit sunshine, blue or full spectrum indoor lighting may help. Exercise boosts serotonin production.
Do enough exercise for that feeling of well being, and make sure you get enough quality sleep. (http://www.naturalnews.com/026637_sleep_health_immune_system.html)
Called by one media critic, “Genius”. Produced by famous smuggler, author/activist Robert Platshorn and the award winning film maker Walter J. Collins. This made for TV version of Roberts Silver Tour stuns viewers with medical and legal facts long kept from the public. Robert’s tour teaching seniors the benefits of medical marijuana have drawn world wide praise for all branches of the media. Front page in the Wall St Journal, featured on CNN Money, praised by News Week‘s Daily Beast and coming soon to The Daily Show!
At a forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminded the leaders of Latin America, whose countries have been savaged by drug-war violence, that the Obama administration, and Clinton in particular, are opposed to legalizing drugs as a means of making those countries less reminiscent of failed states:
“I respect those in the region who believe strongly that [U.S. legalization] would end the problem,” Clinton said Thursday at a Washington D.C. forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine. “I am not convinced of that, speaking personally.”
Some Central American leaders have urged the United States to consider other approaches to domestic drug usage — citing ruthless drug cartels that murder thousands of their citizens. Several Central American countries are considering limited legalization of drugs within their borders.
“I think when you’ve got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it’s somehow blocked, they’ll figure out another way,” she said. “They’ll do kidnapping they’ll do extortion.”
Speaking about the two states that recently legalized marijuana, Clinton repeated the Obama administration position that they haven’t formulated a response yet.
“This is an ongoing debate,” she said. “We are formulating our own response to the votes of two of our states as you know —what that means for the federal system, the federal laws and law enforcement.”
“I think you can, with a comprehensive strategy succeed in certainly pushing back the tide of violence and corruption that drug trafficking brings,” she said.
Clinton’s statement about ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington represents the largest number of words a named official of this administration has uttered regarding the single biggest change in drug policy this century. Good on Clinton for acknowleding that it happened.
It’s also fascinating to me how Clinton has shifted on this topic. Here’s what she said during a Mexico City trip in 2009:
“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.”
In recent years there has been much talk of the so-called “Portuguese model,” based on an initiative that led to the use of illicit drugs being decriminalised in 2001. In fact, it is often said that Portugal was the first country in Europe to decriminalise drug use de jure, while Spain, for example, took that step de facto for the first time in 1974, except that it was not through a specific law but rather as a result of a Supreme Court ruling.
In any case, the decriminalisation process taken forward in Portugal undoubtedly serves as a clear example of the fact that showing greater tolerance to drug users does not lead to an increase in consumption. On the contrary, in Portugal’s case all the indicators show a reduction in the use of illicit drugs following this move, while the problems associated with such use also declined.
Nevertheless, Portuguese-style decriminalisation has immense loopholes and contradictions, such as the fact that the illicit growing of psychoactive plants (of which cannabis is the most common) is still considered a crime, even when it is destined for personal use. This contradiction, which permits the possession and use of small quantities but not self-supply, means that drug users are forced to depend on the illegal market. Furthermore, possession for personal use is punishable as an administrative offence. Dissuasion Commissions (whose members are legal advisers, psychiatrists and social workers) have been established and are able to impose fines or community service. Another of their roles is to persuade addicts to enter treatment programmes. Most of their rulings have led to the legal proceedings brought against non-addicted drug users being suspended. Around ten per cent of cases have been settled with a fine.
They prefer clubs in Portugal too
For some time, various groups have been arguing that further steps need to be taken on the road to decriminalisation, by means of coherent regulations that would cover all aspects of the matter and permit a system of supply that offers an alternative to the illegal market. A few years ago, the Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), a leftist party very similar in origin and ideology to Syriza in Greece, and which in the last election obtained about 5% of the vote and 8 seats in the Legislative Assembly (Portugal’s only house of parliament, since the senate no longer exists), came up with a different proposalalong the lines of the so-called “Dutch model,” which suggested that drugs could be supplied through commercial establishments similar to Holland’s coffee-shops.
Nevertheless, the appearance of Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain has led to a shift in attitude among many groups that used to support a commercially-oriented regulatory model. The Bloco de Esquerda itself decided to abandon that proposal in view of the advantages of the model based on non-profit associations. These include greater transparency, self-management by the consumers themselves, the absence of commercial interests (thus reducing the risk of drug use being promoted), elimination of the so-called “back door,”  and the possibility of introducing the arrangement without needing to reform UN treaties beforehand, since the cannabis clubs fall within the sphere of personal consumption.
What the proposal contains
The Bloco’s new proposed law (which has not yet been presented to parliament) covers all aspects of cannabis, from production to distribution. Its justification mentions the failure of the repressive model consecrated by the UN, the manifest success of decriminalisation – which silenced the arguments of the prohibitionists by demonstrating the viability of more tolerant approaches – and the internal contradictions in the current legislation, which indirectly help to sustain drug trafficking.
The text of the proposal defines the legal arrangements applicable to the growing, consumption and acquisition of cannabis and its by-products, and the possession of these for personal use without the need for a doctor’s prescription. In fact, the initiative’s promoters have avoided mingling medical use with so-called “recreational use,” since they believe that the two debates should be kept separate. They also believe that the defence of the right to use cannabis should not be based on its medicinal properties but rather on individual freedoms.
The proposal – the text of which is not yet definitive – imposes limits on acquisition, growing and possession. It stipulates that the acquisition of cannabis products for personal use should not exceed the amount required for one month’s consumption. This is defined on the basis of Decree 94/96 (26 March), which stipulates estimated daily doses for different illicit drugs. Thus, the amounts someone can obtain each time may not exceed 75 grams of marijuana, 15g of hashish or 7.5g of hash oil. Growing would be limited to a maximum of ten plants per person, while possession would not be allowed to exceed the above-mentioned amounts. In other words, if people choose to grow their own they may store the output from the ten plants, and if they obtain their supply through a club (or on the illegal market) they may only keep enough for one month.
The proposal also includes a system of authorisations, which would be non-transferrable and may be withdrawn in the case of failure to comply with the legal obligations they entail, but would not affect personal use. Therefore, if the proposal goes ahead, the consumption, growing, acquisition and possession of cannabis and cannabis products destined for personal use would not only cease to be a crime but would also no longer be considered an administrative offence, thus leading to full depenalisation, in contrast to what has been the case up till now.
A concrete proposal for regulating CSCs
Chapter II of the proposed law deals with the Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs), which are regulated in some detail. In the proposed text, a club is defined as “a not-for-profit civil-society association for the purposes of study, research and debate on cannabis, as well as the growing of cannabis plants, the production of cannabis substances or preparations and the provision of these to its members, in properly authorised establishments and under the conditions set out herein.” In other words, it outlines a type of organisation almost identical to the model currently being discussed in Spain. In this sense, the Bloco proposal is ground-breaking because, despite being based on an existing model, Portugal could become the second country with a law that permits cannabis clubs. In Uruguay the proposal is that the state would issue licenses to producers, whether they be home-growers or members of growers’ clubs, as is the case in Spain.
The proposed law goes on to establish a series of limits and conditions for the clubs to operate: members must be over the age of 18 and will be invited to join by another club member; the clubs will not be allowed to serve alcohol, and gaming machines are banned; they must be at least 300 metres away from the nearest school; and non-members will only be able to enter the club if they are accompanied by a full member. The clubs will not be able to advertise, and the products they dispense may not have a brand or a trade name.
As far as the acquisition of cannabis products by members is concerned, the proposal stipulates that minors and people who have “an obvious mental illness” will not be allowed to enter the club and may not be provided with any substance whatsoever. The club will make available to its members only the quantity required to cover their monthly needs. The receptacles in which the products are dispensed must indicate the origin and the quantity of the substances they contain, the effects and risks associated with their use, and the international common name as defined by the World Health Organisation.
With regard to oversight of the clubs’ activities and cannabis growing and distribution in general, the proposal gives INFARMED (the national pharmaceutical drugs and health products authority) the power to approve and withdraw authorisations to grow cannabis, although these will not be necessary in the case of possession for personal use. The CSCs must also request permission to extract active ingredients.
INFARMED will also be responsible for “overseeing the growing, extraction and manufacture, distribution, import, transport, acquisition, delivery and possession of substances to be made available to the members of Cannabis Social Clubs.” Responsibility for enforcing the ban on alcohol, gaming, minors, advertising, etc, would fall to local governments. Both they and INFARMED would be able to inspect the clubs’ activities at any time.
As far as infractions are concerned, unauthorised trading in cannabis would be punishable by a prison sentence of up to four years in the case of minor offences and between 4 and 12 years in serious cases, with severity being defined in terms of quantity and circumstances. Other infractions (alcohol consumption, the presence of minors in a club, etc) would be punished as an administrative offence, with fines that in most cases range from 2,500 to 25,000 euros.
Does the proposal have a chance?
At the end of September I was invited by the Bloco de Esquerda to travel to Portugal on behalf of the FAC to explain what the CSC model consists of and how it operates. During my visit I was able to participate in various events, including a parliamentary hearing that was also attended by a Socialist Party representative, Elsa Pais, who was president of Portugal’s Drugs and Drug Addiction Institute (IDT) from 2000 to 2002.
At the hearing, João Semedo, a doctor and Bloco MP (who will also be responsible for presenting the proposal when the time comes), spoke of the need to gather support, which is why they have chosen the formula that seems most acceptable to the rest of Portugal’s political parties. Pais’s role is therefore essential, and she gave quite a forceful speech in which she argued that these issues must not be sidelined in the political debate, especially bearing in mind that individual rights and freedoms of this sort tend to be less respected in times of crisis.
In Pais’s opinion, the Bloco proposal is very positive, because it solves the problem of how drug users are to obtain supplies without resorting to the illegal market. In her view, the CSC arrangement has a number of advantages: it is based on a risk prevention strategy, it respects the seemingly untouchable UN treaties, it gets rid of traffickers by depriving them of customers, and it is a proven model that reinforces informed decision-making and the responsibility of individual users. At the end of her speech, Pais made a commitment to try to convince others in her party to support the proposal. This will be important, since the Socialists are the second largest party in parliament, with 74 seats. 
The Bloco and the Socialist Party together have a total of 82 votes in parliament – less than the 116 needed for a majority. Even if Pais does manage to convince her party colleagues, which is by no means certain, the support of other parties would still be needed. This might include the United Democratic Coalition (CDU), an alliance of communists and greens, whose position does not yet seem to be decided. However, the additional 16 seats of the CDU still will not constitute a majority for the proposal. In other words, a lengthy debate can be predicted before we see concrete results.
It will also be interesting to see what stance is taken by João Goulão, president of the IDT and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), to whom I was able to explain in person how the cannabis clubs operate, and who showed himself open to discussing them as a possible alternative to the current regulations. If Goulão – one of the originators of Portugal’s successful decriminalisation policy – was to support regulation along the lines of the Bloco initiative, it might be more likely to succeed. Because if one thing is certain, it is that right now the likelihood of it being approved un-amended is slight. In any case, the debate promises to be interesting.
 The “back door” problem refers to the fact that the coffee-shops in Holland can sell up to five grams of cannabis to their customers (the “front door”), but they have to obtain their supplies on the illegal market (the “back door”). For the coffee-shops to be able to operate in a way that avoids any activity classified as a crime, the growing of cannabis would have to be regulated.
 In an earlier version of this blog the election results of 2009 were used to calculate the parliamentary support for the proposal, in stead of the June 2011 results, which saw a significant decline in seats for those parties that might support the proposed new law of the Bloco.
A member of the Irish parliament has claimed that the legalization of cannabis would help solve the country’s financial woes.
Self-confessed hash user Flanagan has been a long time campaigner for the legalization of the drug.
He even claims the proposed change to the legislation could take in more revenue for the state than the controversial household charge.
“It has been estimated legalizing the drug would be worth €476million a year (over $600million) to the economy in revenue through taxation and savings to the criminal justice system,” he said.
“Money currently ends up in the pockets of criminals and it would be better spent in the health service.”
Flanagan is currently researching the topic as he intends to present a private members bill on the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
He also told marchers he had been contacted by over 50 people suffering from multiple sclerosis and other illnesses asking him to fight for the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes on their behalf.
“This is a different issue and there is a cast-iron case for legalizing it for medicinal purposes,” he added.
Last March, Deputy Flanagan announced that he giving up using the drug while in Ireland as he was concerned for his family over his potential to be arrested.