-62 votes

My Argument Against Marijuana

Update:

I'm intrigued by many of the comments.

First, of all, many people have yelled at me for pointing a gun at their head or something. WTF? Did you read what I wrote?

Second, although some people have been pretty comfortable with the point I've made even though they disagree, most people are quite visceral about what I've said.

I have 41 downvotes at the moment. Why? Because I've made a moral argument against the voluntary choice to use drugs including marijuana. It's frankly the same position, if perhaps formulated sort of specifically, as Ron Paul.

I said that Marijuana is not some big demon, and sure, if you've been through hell that sort of thing might help you. I'm not condemning you.

What do you think Ron Paul is all about, why do people worship him? He's a moral man. So, in fact, is someone like Alex Jones. They have a sense of commitment of their duties to themselves, their families, their God. There is a sense of higher moral purpose.

Now, that alone doesn't make marijuana bad, but I'm trying to say that having a 'goodie-two-shoe' 'boy scout' commitment to doing right is a good thing, and we need that attitude. We are awake in that we aren't naive, and we think for ourselves, but we must have that commitment and be proud of that aspect of our character.

Okay, so I also think that this sort of do-the-right-thing morality involves staying away from drugs if you can. Chemicals that alter you mental state. Why's that such a controversial position? The CIA planting drugs in communities, the DOJ putting people in jail for it - can't you see this as a two-pronged attack?

So, you're not evil if you smoke pot. But, if I wanted my kids to aspire to something better in life, to do their duty to God - whichever God - if I was looking for that 'spark' in someone... I'd tell my kids to stay away, and I do grow skeptical of people who smoke pot. Look, I have good friends that are liberal who think that if everything in society isn't circumscribed by law and regulation, then surely everything will go wrong and everyone will die. They are smart and well-intentioned, but they're wrong. They don't think quite right. Likewise, smoking pot is not this guarantee of being something bad or whatever, but I would automatically think something's not right.

And it's the same as if I wanted to go play sports with friends, or board games, or see a show of some kind and they want to get drunk and bang girls they don't care about. I'd have a problem with those people.

Everyone's different and have different tastes, but certain qualities and activities are just of a certain type that borders on that edge of nihilism and narcissism or what have you.

Anyway, some of this is private opinion. But I KNOW that this community is really motivated by the drug issue, and I am POLITICALLY ON BOARD with that issue. However, I thought it would be constructive to bring in a counter opinion. Look, some of us think ending the drug war will save our communities. Others think that spreading hemp plants all over the world like Johnny Appleseed will save the universe. That's deranged, and I was trying to start an adult conversation without relying on sophomoric talking points to say that perhaps drugs are really not a good thing, even if criminalization is a horrific overreach, and so perhaps this community needs to think about how much we want to celebrate marijuana.

I don't get why people get so pissed when you disagree with stuff they do. I didn't call names and presented a rational argument. I DON'T have to accept what you do, and I DON'T have to ignore it because it's what you want. What I can't do is ever force or coerce anyone. But on a public forum - you better damn believe I have a right to piss people off if I think it'll make the world a little better. And my goal isn't to just piss people off, but make an argument in spite of whether people choose to be pissed off.

41 down votes because I said marijuana might sort of be bad - I hate the 'this community is such and such' or 'I might have to quit'. No, not at all! I'm not going there. But I'm a little dismayed that there seems to be a big pothead situation here.

***********************************************************

I have been wanting to do this for a while, I'm finally in the mood.

So, this is basically an abstract/moral argument.

Happiness is the goal of life, not the purpose of it. While we meaningfully pursue our purpose, we are happy. Purpose includes basic material objectives, and abstract spiritual objective. Eating good food can make you happy. Rest can make you happy. Exercise can make you happy. Creating can make you happy. Social activity can make you happy.

Now, there are these 'drug' things. They can be anything from refined sugar (maybe), or caffeine (better argument), to marijuana or coke. I would argue that any drug is a moral negative. That doesn't mean enjoying a coffee is evil, but all else being equal, one would hope to pursue life's goals for their own sakes. This argument will make more sense in a minute. Of course, coffee has utility: alertness, creative brain power, but in this case I'm talking about that warm feeling itself as an end in and of itself.

Marijuana has utility, in theory, but the main reason why people use it is for that feeling in and of itself. And this is in fact why I distinguish alcohol from marijuana. It is a matter of intensity. Still, I won't beat around the bush. I think that alcohol is a strong moral negative, and that people drink it way more often than what might be proper. So we can conflate the two. All I'm saying is that mere marijuana use equates to heavy alcohol use. Equivocate with me if you choose, my abstract point remains the same.

The problem, then, with marijuana is that it induces a state of felt happiness. Let's discuss psychological reward mechanisms. Bringing a little science in here, we can say that generally happiness is the result of the sensation produced by dopamine in the brain. Basic survival tasks have been fine tuned and balanced by millions of years of evolution to reward survival achievements: eating, sleeping, sex, social activity with an appropriate amount of dopamine. Apparently, creative thinking, strategic planning is a uniquely human survival mechanism also rewarded.

There's more to it! With memory and conceptual thinking, we can associate these building block reward mechanisms with abstract spiritual successes. When Jesus talks about hunger and the bread of life, he equates the sensation of pure joy a starving person receives from having bread with the abstraction of a spiritual starvation and a spiritual feast.

The point is that this mechanism is real, and physiological, but it's the foundation of all our abstract and spiritual pursuits as well.

I concur that people *can* use marijuana and be functional and purposeful people. However, this is often not the case despite exceptions, and there are downsides not often discussed.

What drugs, including marijuana and alcohol for that matter do is that they induce a dopamine release related not to any act or achievement (that's natural and proper) but rather to the act of usage and using the drug itself. This throws the reward mechanism out of whack.

With heavy drugs, like heroine or cocaine, you see people destroy themselves and those they love because of this interrupted reward loop.

But, even marijuana has a bad effect. A person can still have a purpose while using, but marijuana consumes much more of that reward function than a mere 'thing you do' should. This means that you are wasting 'purpose' resources no matter what when you use.

Granted, let's say you grew up in a crappy household. Psychologically, you might be devoting so many resources to coping with that that drug use might actually free up resources by suppressing the effect of those issues. This isn't a good argument for drugs, if you can't gather.

So drugs interfere with your basic moral purpose and happiness mechanism. And this in turn prevents healthy moral and emotional growth.

Consider the way users act:
1. They are hyper defensive about their drug use. Why is this? Think about how you would feel if a beloved relative died? That person is a source of happiness and being in your life. Marijuana induces an artificial happiness, and so it takes on the role of an artificial loved one. Hence, many (not all) legalizes are hyper defensive. Losing their beloved grass scares them immensely.
2. Lack of self-awareness. It is well documented that marijuana can induce paranoid thinking. This isn't a political comment. I'm just making the point that I know users personally who get wrapped up in unrealistic ideas and have no self-awareness. Yeah, people can indeed lack self-awareness, but marijuana seems to be forcibly, chemically driving a certain lack of self awareness in people. That includes an awareness of the negative effects of using. Linking to point #1, people's state of fear over losing marijuana is chemically induced by the drug's effect on the brain, but people don't realize this. The feeling comes from their brain chemistry, and they act in response to it, but they have no rational, conceptual awareness of their hyper-defensiveness.

Those are just two examples of the sort of effects drugs have on the brain.

It's immoral because the reward process is so foundational to the greater moral purpose of pursuing virtue and a better life.

From a political perspective, the law doesn't have a place using coercive violence against drug users. But that's a general point that is so much broader than the issue of drugs.

Plus, despite my light-handed approach to this issue, drugs do in fact cause enormous harm to people and communities - this is just a fact. I like more foundational abstract arguments, but the basic pragmatic one works pretty well too.

So, that's my argument.

Like I said, we probably drink alcohol too much, but hey we do it. So, if a marijuana user is reading this, I might expect at least someone to think: "You know, he's pretty much right, but of course a vice is a vice and there's no mortal sin in a little smoke here and there." That's all I'm getting at.

Of course, if my argument is very valid, people will freak out in defense of their drug use and call me names.

******

I've thought about it just a bit more.

The idea is that morality is thought of in terms of general principles that inspire moral growth in a direction, as opposed to black and white. It isn't about demonization or 'drugs are bad'.

It's about, which direction do you want to go in.

I'm saying we should go in that direction of greater balance. Balance between physiology and spirituality. We have to eat, and sleep, and so forth. It affects our chemistry and therefore psychology. So we should try to be healthy so our chemistry is balanced. This means more spiritual energy to pursue the heights, if you will.

It's very clear that drug use is an unhealthy, unbalancing activity. That's what I'm trying to say.

While, therefore, drugs aren't 'bad' so-to-speak, I think I can legitimately argue for treating them with extreme reservation.



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Let us learn the source of this herb. Let us define our terms.

Mark Twain, a man of letters.

hemp n. [L. cannabis. ]1. A fibrous plant constituting the genus Cannabis, whose skin or bark is used for cloth and cordage. Hence canvas, the coarse

hemp-agrimony n. A plant, a species of Eupatorium.

Source: Webster's Deictionary, 1828 Edition.

"[Mark Twain] is still the rough, awkward, good-natured boy who swore at the deck hands when he was three years old. Thoroughly likable as a good fellow, but impossible as a man of letters." -Willa Cather

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

You wasted your time...

...and now mine.

Leave others alone and get to work on yourself...it's far more productive. Or if you like...try a moral argument against watching football...I'm sure you'll get more takers.

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

"Unconditional Love"

The Act of Expressing Love Regardless of the Condition (or a Person's "High" Condition).

If you don't understand THAT fundamental teaching of the Faith you are quoting, then there is much to be learned.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Hey that's my line

Far too many of all faiths disregard this rule. Thank you for sharing it.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Odd, isn't it? That so many Faiths disregard THE Truth.

I wonder what motive they have to do so? Hmmmm?

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If the effect of MJ for a

If the effect of MJ for a sub-set of users is paranoia, does that change your argument for those users?

Paranoid of what?

Going to jail or prison? Having the government steal everything you've ever worked for? Never once was I paranoid in Holland while enjoying the buds.

Paranoia is normal in America. Try driving on any road in America. There are highway men everywhere look to export their tolls. Try starting a business or home schooling.

Time to consider the real source of paranoia.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

They probably just need to try a different strain.

Just like booze, there are varieties of MJ that have different effects, physical and psychological. Ingesting MJ has completely different (and often more intense) effects as well.

Beer hurts my stomach and heavy booze gives me back pains. It also makes me act like an idiot and say dumb things and affects my mobility and ability to keep food from coming up my throat. Don't have to worry about any of that with MJ though.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Stop trying to live my life

Stop trying to live my life for me. I don't care what you think about what I do with my life when I don't hurt anyone else.

I'm not a "pothead," but you are trying to control people like an authoritarian. Fine, if you don't like it, but DON'T TREAD ON ME.

Mencken defined Puritanism as the haunting fear that somewhere

someone might be happy.

So, marijuana is bad. Fine. Don't use it. Tobacco is bad. Don't use it. If you do use marijuana, you can expect a predawn raid from the local SWAT team and have your property forfeited. If you use tobacco, you can expect to contract one or more debilitating diseases.

You can recommend people not use marijuana. You can recommend people not use tobacco. I think we can all agree with that. Persuasion is valid way to achieve the non-use of bad things by those around you.

The problem arises from using the state's monopoly on coercion to enforce your conclusion that smoking marijuana is bad.

Someone I know is all for getting groped by the TSA before getting on an airplane. He believes it makes him safer. I asked how it made him safer. He said it kept terrorists off the plane. I asked how did his getting groped keep terrorists off the plane. That sounded magical to me. I pointed out was he was willing to surrender his fourth amendment rights for nothing since he was no threat to the plane. What he really wanted was everyone else to surrender their right as well in order to make him feel safer. This he had no authority to do.

So it is with marijuana. If it is illegal to use, it gives the police an excuse to raid your home, shoot your dog, terrorize your family, destroy or confiscate your property. This can happen even if you do not use it. All the police need is an informant to lie to a judge.

Marijuana is bad. Police state terrorism is worse. So your neighbor or kids don't use marijuana because it is bad. That does not protect them from a raid as long as it is also illegal. In the end state terrorism keeps your kids straight. That is the benefit. What is the cost?

It recalls Jesus' question: What profiteth a man who gains the whole world, but loseth his soul?

That is why it should be legal because keeping it illegal is worse than having the state allow other people use it.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

Good post.

I thought the arguments you made were sensible and indicated that you have given the question some thought. From personal experience I know that using drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol prevents the pursuit of a virtuous life which is the foundation of any happiness.

As you say, happiness is a consequence and therefore not to be pursued as something in itself. This is supported by the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5 and in the description of the wise man in Psalm 1. This shows us that blessedness or happiness is predicated on avoidance of certain behaviours and the embrace of certain heart attitudes. In other words our happiness depends upon personal morality that must follow, at a minimum, the revealed law of human nature given to all men everywhere that is summed up in the Golden Rule. The highest standard of virtue to which men are called is the one revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Law of Life, Love and self sacrifice that can only be followed in His Spirit, i.e. when one has been born from above.

It seems that America as a culture, from what I have read and witnessed, came to believe that the pursuit of happiness meant the pursuit of material success measured in the amount of material possessions and money that one could accumulate. Having such a material goal in life is specifically mentioned by Jesus, once again in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6:19-34. He says that such a pursuit actually results in anxiety.

In Luke 12:15 Jesus says: “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” His teaching on this subject is clear: "But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. " (Matthew 6:33) The spiritual must precede the physical and material. In the spiritual realm we find the meaning of our lives and direction for them.

Given the actual direction taken by American culture in this regard it is not surprising that stress became a leading cause of death and that many sought relief in alcohol and drugs, whether illegal or legal. The pursuit of short term pleasure became the substitute for the pursuit of genuine happiness and this was also reflected after 1913 in the build up of debt as the people sought to counterfeit "success" through credit. This merely added to their anxiety and stress and brought about the collapse of many marriages and the consequent creation of generations of fatherless children. These conditions gave rise to an increase in alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and an intensifying of the alienation in personal relationships. As it says in scriptures "because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold". (Matthew 24:12)

The use of mind altering drugs, among which is cannabis, is specifically mentioned in scripture as being destructive to the human personality. They were used at one time as adjuncts to the ancient "mystery" religions to facilitate the possession of individuals by daemonic spirits. The word for sorcery and the use of drugs in Greek is "farmakiah" from which we acquire our word pharmaceutical. This applies also to legal drugs many of which today would fall into the mind altering category. On the other hand the moderate use of alcohol as wine, beer or spirits is not frowned upon although the abuse of these is treated in the same way as drugs.

Sorcery, the use of drugs, is mentioned by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 as one of the works of the flesh one must avoid amongst which are idolatry, sexual immorality, impurity, envying, murder, carousing and drunkenness.

So it would seem to me that the use of any drugs, including legal drugs, affecting mental function, should be eschewed as you have indicated. Speaking from personal experience the use of cannabis can cause paranoia and schizophrenic episodes although this may not be applicable to everyone. Nevertheless the ill effects of such substances have been well documented and they should be avoided.

Having said this I agree with Ron Paul that any such education on and regulation of drugs should be dealt with at State level and all Federal legislation in this regard should be repealed and all non-violent drug related offenders in Federal custody should be released.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

The Four Reliances

First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words;

Second, rely on the teachings, not on the personality of the teacher;

Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation;

And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind, not on judgmental perceptions.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I'm not here to judge you but

I'm not here to judge you but only hopefuly to offer observations.

You may want to do a more thorough analysis of morality itself before you jump into the morality of using a particular substance.

Do you have personal experience with the use of this substance?

Have you attempted to find cases/examples of people using that do not align with your expected outcome?

Swami Vivekinanda and his

Swami Vivekinanda and his hubba bubble.

Oh and another thing.

When people sit at their computer they become UNAWARE of their surroundings and many times as a result of ingesting internet information they become PARANOID. Yet when you threaten to limit their internet use they become HYPER DEFENSIVE. Loss of the internet would diminish their HAPPINESS. This should be DISTINGUISHED from normal interaction because of the INTENSITY of interaction that you get from the internet. Although computers and the internet have some UTILITY they are obviously the cause of degradation of physical contact and are an avenue of IMMORAL pursuit.

Perhaps you should question the MORALITY of your choice to use the internet.

You made this post to state your belief with no intention what so ever to accept discussion. Your beliefs are debunked and your whole argument has been defeated soundly but you will never admit it because you don't care about truth.

Sweeping generalizations and

baseless assumptions are the reasons why you're being down-voted, not because we're a bunch of angry, close-minded pot-smokers.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.

www.simplefactsplainarguments.com

Wow...talk about overanalyizing!

Is it moral to ingest marijuana? Is it moral to eat ice cream? The only people who ask these questions are those who have never tried it. Would you be asking these questions if marijuana was never made illegal to begin with? From a Christian perspective, in Genesis 1 God gave all of the seed bearing plants to man as food. Marijuana can be eaten...just sayin'...and our Creator is condoned it!

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
- President John F. Kennedy

If you can't understand why

If you can't understand why people are responding negatively to your rambling diatribe attacking the morality of marijuana users, then you must not have read it. "People can still have a purpose, BUT..." "Most marijuana users aren't typically functional" "Marijuana users aren't self-aware" and on, and on, and on and....This piece is so wandering and full of mysticism, I wouldn't be surprised to find out you had a head full of LSD when you wrote it.

"It's very clear that drug use is an unhealthy...

unbalancing activity."

That's where you lose every time. If you want to start a thread about "drug use is bad," then why make Cannabis your main subject when there are legal drugs that are 5-10 times worse? I.E. Nicotine, Caffeine, alcohol.

You're also forgetting that everyone is different and when you generalize (especially with Cannabis), you lose people. Here's what I mean:

"I concur that people *can* use marijuana and be functional and purposeful people. However, this is often not the case despite exceptions, and there are downsides not often discussed."

How do you know that most people are "not" functional Cannabis consumers? Did you conduct a study and have it peer reviewed? Again, another generality that just isn't correct.

I have a question for you and I think it will really narrow in as to "why" you think the way you do: how old are you, TMan? Please be honest about that.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

IMO downvotes are for the "Authentic Frontier Gibberish"

Next time try some facts maybe?

1 example of your Authentic Frontier Gibberish ... " Marijuana induces an artificial happiness, and so it takes on the role of an artificial loved one. Hence, many (not all) legalizes are hyper defensive. Losing their beloved grass scares them immensely."
OR... "Lack of self-awareness. It is well documented that marijuana can induce paranoid thinking. This isn't a political comment. I'm just making the point that I know users personally who get wrapped up in unrealistic ideas and have no self-awareness"

So... Happiness AND paranoia? Together at the same time? Oh my.
IMO nothing but "Authentic Frontier Gibberish"


http://youtu.be/ke5Mr5eCF2U

As someone who spent half my life looking down at weed smokers

And as someone who now smokes about once a week because it brings out empathy in my normally non emotional existence I say... Try it.. it wont kill you! You God will understand!.... and then Ill respect your opinion on its effects.. because until then you have no idea what you are talking about..

You want to go in the direction of "Greater Balance"?

THEN EVERYONE SHOULD BE LIGHTING UP AND CHILLING THE F*** OUT!

What creates "imbalance" is people imposing their views on others rather than just living the way they want regardless of the activities of others and doing no harm to others.

However, what's different here is that you are not only imposing your views about pot on others, but the views you hold are based on outdated propaganda pushed on the public by corporate interests that many have bought into. All the "Harm" is done by all the LIES that it does any real harm.

Been smoking for over half of my life, since age 13, and even smoked when I was recovering from TB of the lungs which helped my lungs heal better and faster, I have a 10-year career in advertising, I pay my bills, I hang out with friends, I love my wife and the rest of my family, and I'm a pretty chilled out nice guy (I do my best).

See, I base MY opinion on MY OWN EXPERIENCE and not the opinions of some half-century-old corporately funded and falsified research. It would be IMMORAL for me to tell people NOT to smoke or ingest POT. Cannabis Oils are curing cancers, easing symptoms for people (and children) suffering from chronic diseases, etc., and that doesn't even cover all the industrial benefits of Hemp.

Spiritually speaking, Marijuana HELPED me reach that quiet, still place within. When I first began meditation, I couldn't focus that easily but with pot I was able to find stillness and it allowed me to think outside the box from within. I no longer require it to meditate but it served as a valuable tool to help me find inner peace.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I miss Bill Hicks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J10w3FuCwfQ

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Ron Paul is not a user.

And he taught his kids to not be users. He believes essentially the same PERSONALLY as the author of this Op.

HOWEVER, Ron Paul believes that individual liberty is the greater good, to allow people to make their OWN choices, for better or worse, and that that is the "greater good."

THAT'S the point.

It's because of your initial

premiss of thinking that is wrong. You make claims and assertions that are totally untrue. Your opinions are biased and just echo the lies that created the prohibition in the first place.

It is also your claim of its immorality which is based solely on YOUR interpretation of what is moral.

Perhaps everything you have asserted in your argument is false. No wonder you have been voted down.

Yoga

Yoga activates the exact same receptors in the brain -- your cannabinoids system. It gets you high in the exact same way. Is Yoga immoral??

"I would argue that any drug is a moral negative."

And you are free to live your own life any way you please, as are the rest of us. There has never been a drug free society and never will be. Look at Utah, the most teetotal state which also happens to be one of the states with the highest anti-depressant use. Any way you slice it, we are better off living in a society where people are left alone to make these decisions fro themselves.

We also have the highest porn

We also have the highest porn use.

Heh.

Really?

I would never have figured that one,lol

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Lol yeah surprised me too

Lol yeah surprised me too