Why I Would Vote No On Pot by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and why I disagree with him

I’m amazed that Dr. Gupta is amazed at the number of Americans who use marijuana at least once a month….I’m amazed at the number of Americans who drink alcohol every day, causing far greater harm to themselves and society than marijuana users.

Why I Would Vote No On Pot
By Sanjay Gupta Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006

Maybe it’s because I was born a couple of months after Woodstock and wasn’t around when marijuana was as common as iPods are today, but I’m constantly amazed that after all these years–and all the wars on drugs and all the public-service announcements–nearly 15 million Americans still use marijuana at least once a month. California and 10 other states have already decriminalized marijuana for medical use. Now two of those states–Colorado and Nevada–are considering ballot initiatives that would legalize up to an ounce of pot for personal use by people 21 and older, whether or not there is a medical need.


The first is that marijuana isn’t really very good for you. True, there are health benefits for some patients. Several recent studies, including a new one from the Scripps Research Institute, show that THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for the high, can help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. (In fact, it seems to block the formation of disease-causing plaques better than several mainstream drugs.) Other studies have shown THC to be a very effective antinausea treatment for people–cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, for example–for whom conventional medications aren’t working. And medical cannabis has shown promise relieving pain in patients with multiple sclerosis and reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.


Why do I care? As Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, puts it, “Numerous deleterious health consequences are associated with [marijuana's] short- and long-term use, including the possibility of becoming addicted.”


But I’m here to tell you, as a doctor, that despite all the talk about the medical benefits of marijuana, smoking the stuff is not going to do your health any good. And if you get high before climbing behind the wheel of a car, you will be putting yourself and those around you in danger.
via Why I Would Vote No On Pot – TIME.

Given that getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence of alcohol or any number of prescription drugs puts one and those around one in danger why even mention that? Why single out marijuana?

Let’s look at the number of yearly deaths attributed to marijuana and other drugs and causes of deaths:


Marijuana Smoking Doesn’t Kill
Illegal Herb Not Harmless, but Data Show No Link to Death
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News

Sept. 18, 2003 — Marijuana smoking isn’t harmless, but at least it won’t kill you.

It’s been feared that marijuana smoke, like tobacco smoke, causes cancer and heart disease. The evidence argues otherwise, writes Stephen Sidney, MD, associate director for research for Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., in the Sept 20 issue of The British Medical Journal.

“Although the use of [marijuana] is not harmless, the current knowledge base does not support the assertion that it has any notable adverse public health impact in relation to mortality,” Sidney concludes.

No Marijuana Deaths in 2 Large Studies

Sidney points to two large studies. The first is from (where else?) California. A large HMO looked at 65,177 men and women age 15-49. Over 10 years, marijuana users died no sooner than nonusers.

The second study looked at 45,450 Swedish army conscripts. They were 18-20 years old when asked about marijuana use. Fifteen years later, the marijuana users were just as likely to remain alive as nonusers.

And since marijuana smoking can’t kill outright — there’s no such thing as a fatal marijuana overdose — short-term use isn’t deadly. Long-term use can’t be good for you. But Sidney notes that most marijuana smokers don’t become long-term users.


Why let facts get in the way?  Here are statistics of deaths by drug classifications:


Regardless of whether or not you believe marijuana to have harmful side effects, didn’t we learn anything from alcohol prohibition? I guess not.

# 20 Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
in Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009

Marijuana Policy Project, September 27, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for Fourth Year in a Row”
Author: Bruce Mirken

National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, September 24, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests for Year 2006—829,625 Tops Record High”
Author: Paul Armentano

Student Researchers: Ben Herzfeldt and Caitlyn Ioli

Faculty Advisor: Pat Jackson, PhD

For the fourth year in a row, US marijuana arrests set an all-time record, according to 2006 FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests in 2006 totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. At current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every thirty-eight seconds, with marijuana arrests comprising nearly 44 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. According to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges during the past decade, while arrests for cocaine and heroine have declined sharply.

The number of arrests in 2006 increased more than 5.5 percent from 2005. Of the 829,627 arrests, 89 percent were for possession, not sale or manufacture. Possession arrests exceeded arrests for all violent crimes combined, as they have for years. The remaining offenders, including those growing for personal or medical use, were charged with sale and/or manufacturing. SOURCE

Marijuana Arrests Set All-Time Record

September 15, 2008
Domain Names

Arrests for Marijuana Possession Exceed All Violent Crimes Combined

(Washington, D.C.) Continuing the recent trend, marijuana arrests set another all-time record in 2007, totaling 872,720. Arrests for marijuana possession totaled 775,138, greatly exceeding arrests for all violent crimes combined, which totaled 597,447.

* The number greatly exceeds the 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006, which itself was an all-time record.
* Arrests for illicit drugs other than marijuana declined in 2007 by over 84,000 compared to 2006.

“Most Americans have no idea of the massive effort going into a war on marijuana users that has completely failed to curb marijuana use,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. “Just this summer a new World Health Organization study of 17 countries found that we have the highest rate of marijuana use, despite some of the strictest marijuana laws and hyper-aggressive enforcement.

“With government at all levels awash in debt, this is an insane waste of resources. If we regulated and taxed marijuana as we do beer, wine, and cigarettes, we could save tens of billions of dollars, better control marijuana’s production and distribution, and cut off a huge source of funding to criminal gangs.” SOURCE

Why is marijuana illegal?

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

Marijuana is legally a Schedule I Controlled Substance under a federal law that evaluates the balance of risks and benefits of drugs with input from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The reason for legal restrictions on controlled substances is to protect public health and public safety. Simply put, marijuana is a substance that intoxicates those who use it, injuring their health and the well-being of those around them.

Excuse me???? I have to call BS on that statement. I doubt there is ANY other drug on the face of the earth that has caused more harm to the user and those around him than ALCOHOL. Obviously that statement is not true….there are other factors involved in the criminalization of marijuana.

So WHY is marijuana illegal?

As I’ve researched the beginnings of marijuana prohibition two names pop up no matter the source for the information….Harry J. Anslinger and William Randolph Hearst.

With the help of William Randolph Hearst who is reported to have hated Mexicans as well as being heavily invested in the timber industry, Anslinger who eventually became essentially the first Drug Czar, embarked on a campaign to sensationalize the evils of marijuana. Here are a few Anslinger quotes from the Gore Files:

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

“Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

I think it’s rather obvious that racism played a large part in the criminalization of marijuana.  But big industry had it’s hand in the criminalization of marijuana as well:

Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.

Remember at the time marijuana was being criminalized  even the American Medical Association did not realize that the “marijuana” being referred to was hemp or cannabis.

The one fly in Anslinger’s ointment was the appearance by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association.

Woodward started by slamming Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics for distorting earlier AMA statements that had nothing to do with marijuana and making them appear to be AMA endorsement for Anslinger’s view.

He also reproached the legislature and the Bureau for using the term marijuana in the legislation and not publicizing it as a bill about cannabis or hemp. At this point, marijuana (or marihuana) was a sensationalist word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people’s minds to the existing cannabis/hemp plant. Thus, many who had legitimate reasons to oppose the bill weren’t even aware of it.

Woodward went on to state that the AMA was opposed to the legislation and further questioned the approach of the hearings, coming close to outright accusation of misconduct by Anslinger and the committee: CONTINUED HERE

I have quoted heavily from one website but the information presented here is actually a compilation of research through Internet research and information presented in a History Channel special on marijuana.

Given the facts that hemp is a product with many uses and that it is very environmentally friendly, and the outrageous sums of money spent on the criminalization of marijuana isn’t it time to stop the insanity of marijuana criminalization?

I think so and not just because I was born before Woodstock.

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55 Responses to Why I Would Vote No On Pot by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and why I disagree with him

  1. alisilver says:

    I think everyone started the new year with a zero blog agenda :(

    Sage Reply:

    Am I boring you?

    alisilver Reply:

    SAGE NO NO NO ,,, you mis understood. But usually when I come i can find where folks are talking, on what thread. And it just seems the last few days people are busy elsewhere! LOL, you’re not boring me,,, i love this place. I just can’t find the busy thread ,,,,,and I am not consistent,,,,,,so it’s possible it’s my fault ;)

    Sage Reply:

    Oh, ok. Yeah, it’s kind of been all over the place lately hasn’t it? I think Grace has been on chat and Sharon is taking a break working on real life stuff.

    I was gone a lot today cleaning my house and getting the new laptop all set up. Deleting stuff that it came with and adding what it didn’t come with.

  2. Wizcon says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I can think of two steady pot smokers I have know for 39 yrs. Both have troubles with some of their cylindars. Really spacy. I also know a few people who are alcholoics.. Same problem.
    Personally I wish…..

    John Dean Reply:

    I have mixed feelings too. I don’t do drugs, and have always been very anti-drugs, including pot.

    However, it’s clear that pot does help some folks deal with pain, plus I suppose a small amount is not as bad as drinking.

    I can go either way on this.

  3. Sage says:

    the difference is alcohol is legal and pot isn’t.

  4. igaveup says:

    what does anyone know about the latest api threat to sue fox news?

    Sage Reply:

    I would have to say that like everything else out of API it’s BS. Fox News never had anything to do with API so there is nothing to sue them for.

  5. igaveup says:

    thanks sage, i guess sammy’s the yippy dog trying to get attention.

    Sage Reply:

    Yep. When things cool off and he isn’t getting enough attention he finds something else to start a sh*t storm over.

    If I remember correctly he promised to post the contract between him and Fox and he never did. I think that’s because it didn’t exist.

  6. alisilver says:

    Also I am totally FOR legalizing pot and no i DONT use it ! But i did for a while and don’t really see the big deal. Versus alcohol,,,,it s totally safe. I’ve got a near 15 year old and near 11 year old and I’ve told people and I’ll tell them, I would far rather them go to a friends house and share a joint with some friends than i would them go share a case of beer with some friends………the results are shockingy different. IMHO>>> :)

    Sage Reply:

    I agree. Pot doesn’t make people violent….well, unless somebody tries to steal their munchies and then maybe they could work up the energy to get angry.

    I’ll take being around a pothead over a drunk any day of the week and I’ve been around both.

    I know many people say pot is a gateway drug but I think alcohol is the gateway drug. I don’t know anybody who ever tried drugs who didn’t drink first. I do know people who only smoked pot and never touched alcohol or other drugs.

  7. DaddysDarlin says:

    I sit beside you every Sunday at church.
    I am a member of the PTA.
    I vote in every election.
    I pay my taxes.
    I love my country.
    I want my freedom.
    I have been a regular pot smoker for the past 35 years. I use it regularly for chronic pain, and nobody can tell me that it doesnt work for me, it does that’s all there is to it.
    I have to hide behind closed doors because I risk losing my kids, my home, and my freedom because it is illegal in my state.
    I don’t know of any violent or any other crimes associated with pot use. We don’t rob people because we are hopelessly hooked on pot, we do not look any different than anyone else you see on the street, there are no tell tale track marks on our arms.
    We are a peace loving people who want only to live our lives without having to hide our pot use. I am not ashamed, I am afraid, afraid of what would happen to me and my family if anyone knew about me.

    Wizcon Reply:

    My younger brother died of multiple meyloma in 2005 (bone cancer). He went through every experimental program there was including thalomide and his final chemotherapy included arsenic in it. He was in extreme pain. He had been 6’3″ tall and was 5’10″ when he died. His spine was collapsing. He also was extremely thin, he wouldn’t tell us what he weighed. He just couldn’t eat.
    After several years of this he called me one day happy as could be. He had gotten ahold of some pot and called feeling great having had been able to keep food down for several days.
    There was no cure for his disease but it gave him relief and a better quality of life.

    Sage Reply:

    I’m so sorry about your brother, Wizcon.

    I have a friend whose mother had cancer and my friend got her pot for pain and nausea. It made her last 6 months much better.

    Sage Reply:

    It’s really sad that people who find relief with pot have to feel they have to hide and worry about the legal ramifications. Certainly pot has to be better and less addictive that narcotic pain pills.

  8. alisilver says:

    And I think pot is getting less and less stigmatized every day. Every single movie that comes out has at least one pot smoker in it and USUALLY it’s a regular old character in the movie, someone’s sister, someone’s friend. I mean they are not the idiot or drug crazed loon, just regular people. We’ve been around a load of all types and by far the DRUNKS are the worst to be around and they actually make me terrified of what they’re about to do. Are they going to climb on the roof and break their neck? There is no ‘ten foot tall and bullet proof ‘ song about potheads……… just drinkers… :)

    Wizcon Reply:

    Hemp plants were grown here during WW1 and 2. For rope. My kids have a picture of their Dad from when he was about 20 yrs old. He and freinds canoed down the Kicapoo river and found some growing wild. They tried smoking it at the campfire that night. The picture shows him holding a 6 foot plant. They named it Sid after his Dad because it gave them a headache.

  9. alisilver says:

    Actually a funny story, several years ago a friend of mine got busted with pot and some pills. The pills, from a pharmacy, were a FAR more serious charge. The weed was kinda afterthought ! So…….what’s that tell ya?

  10. Grace says:

    Hi you all!

    Did not mean to abandon you guys here, :)

    Sage, I just email you part of the information to you. Will have the rest done after grocery and packing. I have to get off line most of today. Maybe log back on later afternoon or evening.

    Sage Reply:

    Thanks, Grace. I sent you the information you asked for.

    Grace Reply:


  11. Grace says:

    I have one piece of interesting news I picked up from chat two days ago. Learned a lot about Sammy/API stuff. Some are quite hillarious.

    A very nice ex-API person told me that Sammy tried to enter US soil, but INS rejected his Visa application 8 times. Sammy revealed that to her. Just as I mentioned many moons ago, no way INS will allow a CRIMINAL enter in. Yep, Sammy is a legit wanted criminal in Kenya, and a declared charlatan in Norway

  12. Grace says:

    Yep Sammy why don’t you worry about your own Visa application before worry about my status in US!!

  13. Mbousa says:

    Sis, are we going to have to go into hiding since Sammy has threatened to “out” us Kenyans to the INS?

  14. Grace says:

    Nah…he is the one need to be hiding!

  15. Grace says:

    We are both legit and good Americans now! Sammy on the other hand…a rejected tourist! LOLOLOL

  16. igaveup says:

    so this means that he never came for meetings in the us?
    how is he going to come in a testify in his lawsuit against fox?

    (i’m being sarcastic) :)

    Wizcon Reply:

    let alone attend the inaugeration

    Sage Reply:

    Looks that way, doesn’t it? LOL

    Grace Reply:

    Wonder if he was playing paperplanes jetting all over Canada, US and UK

  17. Grace says:

    Isn’t Sammy an idiot with a big mouth?

    Sage Reply:

    Yes, he is.

    By the way, I set up a new chat software. If you guys get a chance let me know what you think. I don’t see any ads even without Adblock and I checked it in both IE and Firefox and it is working.

    You can just put in a name to use each time or you can sign up and get a name you use each time….it’s up to you. I can make moderators as well.

    Sage Reply:

    Yes, he is.

  18. Mbousa says:

    Sis, what ever happened to the Origami Paper construction book I gave you last Christmas? There are lots of paper construction projects to help Sammy build his little world and a little paper jet he can make to travel to all the places in his paper world. There is also a bonus project in the back where Sammy can make an origami US Visa that he can travel in his little jet to the US. I think there even was a chapter on making little paper believers like Grandmas, Ann Fitz’s, purple skies, Clowds, and others so he can make believe so he can talk to them. The advanced book will be coming out and will be available on Sage’s site which will feature Origami cows, lwayers, Obama, McCain and the entire Fox news network. With the little Bigfoots and the advanced Origami book… I can’t wait!!

    Grace Reply:

    Yes, I think I packed it away in my boxes…I will dig it out. I can even fold a origami Immigration Department of Norway…so that Sammy can play secret police. I can fold origami people…and put your name and my name on…so that he can catch us. I do not think I can fold 100 good Americans though…that would take months.

    I will have a display at Macy store in NYC…will you all come to see?? Forget about Christmas display next year…we just do the story of Scammy Sammy and his tape!!

    Mbousa Reply:

    Sis… we have to be careful with all the paper folding… paper cuts!! LOL

    Grace Reply:

    True…I forgot about we both have terrible blood disorder. Ok folks, the display is being called off now!

    Grace Reply:

    Do you think Sage will give me a discount?? I know her store sells fridge, and shut guns, big foot trap and everything!!

    Sage Reply:

    have you checked out the new chat? It has cool emoticons

    alisilver Reply:

    Sage, when you say chat, are you talking about YOUR chat room? ALways when i hear ya’ll talking about chat, i thought it was an api/sammy/someothernonsense chat place. If this blog has a chat room, i should BE THERE :P

    Sage Reply:

    The Chat room here on this blog.

  19. Grace says:

    Not yet…I just came home from the store…I will check in a moment!

  20. Sage says:

    I’m going to be gone most of the day. My dad bought a computer and I’m going to set it up for him.

  21. Grace says:

    Hi Sage…I just replied your email! I will be off line also. Talk to you later!

  22. Mbousa says:

    Sage, interesting article on cannibis and Alzheimer’s disease.

  23. Ah, now here’s a subject I can relate to. You should check out my blog archives on Myspace, I have several articles in there on marijuana including a complete history of it’s use and prohibition here in the U.S. At one time it was a law that all crop farmers had to dedicate a certain percentage of their property to growing marijuana until Anslinger started all his bull about all crimes being committed by members of the degenerate races while smoking pot.

    Oh yeah, hi everyone. I’ve been out of circulation for awhile here, a lot of personal business to take care of (oh my god, I do have a life,, lol) and last weekend I broke three bones in my right hand in a silly little accident (hurt my backbone too, but not broke) so typing is a one hand one finger thing for me now.
    Anyway, hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year, and I hope to be back to my old self again soon.

    Sage Reply:

    Good to see you here, CPD. I’m sorry you broke your hand….that sucks.

    How about a link to the archives you are speaking of?

    Cartoon Pig Dog Reply:

    I’m sure this will go into moderation with all these links, but here are some of my blogs on pot on myspace, and I’ve done a couple of them over at blogs4sense too. I’ll get back to you again later to catch up on everything I missed the past couple weeks.
















    Sage Reply:

    Thanks, CPD. I’ll be checking these out.

    drsharonschuetz Reply:

    Hello, CPD. It’s good to hear from you. Sorry you broke your hand. That’s a big ouch and not a lot of fun either. Take care of yourself.

  24. You have me in moderation, but then I knew you would with that many links.

  25. oh wow, and back out before I could post, lol

    Sage Reply:

    Great links, CPD. Thanks very much. I have some reading to do!

Comments are closed.