I would like to know your opinion on the use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Personally, I think it is a great, natural remedy for many illnesses. It helps with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and has even been proven to kill cancer cells. It is also great to add to your tobacco when you decide to smoke your pipe and just think about things and enjoy nature. It really helps you absorb your surroundings and think deeper about things.

What is your personal opinion?

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"most people get addicted from prescription opiates to stop pain."

Some do. Many do not - getting addicted from recreational use. Also, acute pain, not chronic pain - there are already efforts to reduce prescriptions for chronic pain management. 

"Marijuana does this"

Sometimes, but not as effectively for many types of pain, especially acute pain, from all the clinical data I have seen. 

there are already efforts to reduce prescriptions for chronic pain management. 

Most mass market pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) don't even carry opiates anymore.  Granted that is probably more due to the fact they don't want people breaking in and stealing all their opiates. 

I've worked Law Enforcement for nine years and I have met and dealt with hundreds of cannabis users. I have not met one whose life was improved by using it. I've met hundreds whose lives were negatively impacted by it.
Decriminalisation is not the solution. Just as decriminalising domestic violence is not the answer. Nor murder. Nor sexual offences. Nor theft. All of these things are prevalent in society. All have a significant negative impact on both invididuals and communities. But the solution to all of these problems is better funded law enforcement, better education and greater social responsibility generally.
As a side note, I'm in the UK.

Not a strong parallel.  I want murder illegal because I don't want someone to murder me.  I don't need pot illegal, because if someone wants to sell me some, I can Just Say No.

I'm not saying your conclusion is wrong, just that the parallelism isn't working.

And I don't think any recreational users benefit from it.  Though I've met far fewer.

As someone in law enforcement - the people you meet and deal with are a subset (those in trouble with the law, typically). You don't meet an unbiased selection of individuals. So keep that skew in mind, when painting a broader picture. 

But my argument is not one of "life is improved." I don't know any whose life is improved by drink or tobacco either. Regardless, we don't make those illegal, and often attempts to do so cause MORE problems, not less. Jailing non-violent marijuana smokers for possession of a mild drug (milder than drink) only fills jails, costs money, and destroy's lives - keeping it illegal doesn't decrease use, it just gives room for gangs and criminal syndicates to profit on the sale and distribution (and of course the harm THEY cause in that pursuit). 

And as per Sir's note - arguments for legalization of a drug (even worse drugs than weed) are quite different than those for the legalization of violent crimes. They are not equivalents. One is a law restricting an individual's choice (I want to drink/smoke). vs. protecting others from a violation of their rights (being mugged/assaulted/killed).

I think it's a degenerate drug that adversely affects individuals and society. That being said, if whiskey is legal, marijuana should be too.

Responding points noted.

My apologies for my overly exhubrant comparison of cannabis use to violent crime. I was clumsily trying to make a point regarding the fact that just because something is hard to remove from society, does not mean that we should legalise it. However, your points are valid and accepted.

I would say that (with the greatest of respect) the 'subset' of society that I deal with on day to day basis are as varied as society itself. I deal with victims, witnesses, offenders, most of whom had no idea that I would be speaking to them on that given day. Many people, in many of these 'subsets' have been cannabis users and none of them have benefited from it.

There are reasons to consider the legalisation of cannabis. It can be used in pain management. It can relieve anxiety and depression. However, I do not believe that these reasons outweigh the damage that it does to society. It can cause problems for people's mental  health, people can become inclined to commit acquisitive crime, it can cause problems for young people and their education, perhaps unique to the UK is the fact that cannabis is nearly always smoked with tobacco which comes with it's own health concerns. Another lesser known concern is that the effects of cannabis with regard to driving capability far outlast that of the actual 'high.' I suppose the nearest comparison would be driving after the night before; no longer drunk but still 'under the influence.'

I believe that in the UK and elsewhere in the world there are true medicinal products containing active ingrediants of cannabis without the elements that make you 'high.' These are worthwhile products, but not the drug itself.

Finally, the chances of you being imprisoned in the UK for cannabis possession alone is next to zero.

Keep it up lads, good information coming out.

Fair enough - some of your concerns I think are addressed by treating it (at least here) as we do tobacco and alcohol. Minors cannot buy. Sobriety on the roads is mandated (with usually severe punishments). 

I'm not sure some of your concerns are as well demonstrated by what we know of the drug in studies (mental health, acquisitive crime). 

Good to know that people are not imprisoned for possession. I wish that were the case here, but there are a LOT of people in jail for little more than having a joint in their backpack.

My personal experience with medicinal cannabis (a TCH/CBD oil combo) is not a positive one. And I don't believe there's compelling evidence that it kills cancer cells; I looked hard before taking the stuff. There is clinical evidence that it helps with seizure disorders, so, bravo.

But my own experience: 

  1. Despite careful administration, it did positively nothing to combat leukemia, as it is purported (but not proven) to do. Blood counts didn't move at all. 
  2. It masks depression, anxiety and insomnia, and those positive outcomes lasted only as long as the cannabis was in my system, with no lasting effect. I'd have to stay baked (I pretty much was, for a few months). Also, it decreased any motivation to seek lasting resolutions. As Timothy Leary put it, it's tuning in, turning on and dropping out.
  3. I repeat, decreased motivation - to work, research cures, pay bills, walk the dog, build stamina. I found it debilitating. The last straw for me was the morning I spent an hour laughing at the shape of dog biscuits. 

"Then take less," you may say; but, the weak evidence that exists points to a minimum therapeutic threshold.

"Then take it in suppositories, which have less of a high." Impossible: an immunocompromised man can't risk shoving stuff up his bodunkus every four hours.

This is the experience of someone "still in his prime." My grandmother could really have used cannabis toward the end of her life. She was terrified, in pain had no appetite - absolutely joyless, without succor. In a case like that, I'd say "By all means, use it." But if you have a full life ahead of you (as I hope to do), then, you run the risk of it being a fuzzy, blunt-edged, purposeless life.

Some people don't like it or just don't get good experiences. And yes, there is relatively new evidence that proves it kills cancer cells.

If there's new evidence, I'd be pleased to hear about it, can you point me? 

To me a good experience is that it does stop palsy tremors, control seizures, help an elderly person go easier into that long good night, ease chronic pain. All that's possible.

The sensations I had with it were certainly pleasant; but again, debilitating. I watched tube for eight hours while work backed up, having no sense of urgency, priority, drive. Had I nothing to do, that would be fine. But the end result was, when I came down, I was tense because of backed-up work, backed-up bills, a dog who hadn't been out in 12 hours. That's not improving life in any way.

 

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