Marijuana – Revisited

Today, I am again rewinding time and visiting a very different era. A time when I was still as pro-marijuana as I am now, but woefully more naive ang ignorant of many things of which are now obvious.

The year was 2013. I had just gotten my feet wet in the blogging world by posting my first 3 entries, all of which were awful, and only 1 of which remains today. The first was far too personal to fit in with the rest of the blog (in terms of how it evolved), the second being Idle No More (the post I revisited last time), and the 3ed being my foray into Bieber fever. Considering that Bieber’s replacements have been replaced in the popular scene at least twice since the piece first was published, it was time to bury that reminder of a far simpler time. A time when the only coronavirus I was aware of had burned out 12 years beforehand.

Oh, who am I kidding . . . no one but the microbiology inclined knew what a coronavirus was in 2013. It is a class of viruses, NOT the virus we know as Sars-COVID 19 (though that initially became the adjective early on). The category are labelled as coronaviruses due to their crown-like appearance mimicking that of solar corona’s. 

Coronaviruses – a general introduction

The more you know.

Either way, I haven’t even started and I’ve already gone on a tangent. Without further ado, let’s see how differently I view drugs in 2020 in comparison to my view in 2013.

Being that I started with a meme then, I’ll do the same now so we get the proper context.

I am a pro marijuana/soft drugs guy. The photo above is a large part of exactly WHY i am pro-legalization.

One of my big reasons is, I could not find a legal drug that is as harmless as cannabis. Even when you start at the very bottom of the ladder!

-Caffeine (addictive, can overdose)

– Alcohol (VERY addictive, can overdose)

– Tabacco (addictive, very destructive to health over the long term. Can overdose)

– Various over the counter medications (See photo)

– Various prescription meds (see photo)


Interestingly enough, we already come to an area where I changed my stance. Specifically, where soft drugs are concerned.

Another thing that occurs to me is what exactly constitutes a soft drug. Since I tended to group these things based on legality, I would likely have started with marijuana and it’s derivatives and ended with LSD. The unspoken assumption here seems to be that none of the drugs in question (marijuana, shrooms or Acid) are harmful because none of them can cause physical harm. That unspoken definition seemingly being that of overdose, addiction and worse.

Even that sorting method is based on legality (well, as it stood in Canada in 2013), the soft would also transition to the overall hierarchy since pretty much every drug I can think of (aside from marijuana) can cause adverse physical effects if overused.

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription medications

One can go even further by questioning what exactly the definition of drug entails, specifically in the context of substances such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Where this is concerned, the end result seems to be a moving target depending on where you look.



By most definitions of the word, sugar and HFCS are seemingly not considered to be drugs. Whilst that is how the situation falls linguistically, research into the various properties of both substances (in the context of how they interact with the body) seems to be showing interesting similarities. Whilst the picture is far from clear, there is some speculation that habit formation and addiction may not be out of the realm of possibility for both Sugar and HFCS
This proves interesting for my little list of drugs that can cause ill-effects to the body since I could theoretically place marijuana behind even Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup now.  Which would make Sugar and HFCS the most common drugs in the marketplace. Consumed without a thought by young and old alike.

Is sugar/HFCS a drug? 

It has been alleged for years that the processed and fast food industries have been using the enticing combination of both sugar/HFCS and salt to create addictive products consumers could never get enough of. We all know the slogan . . . 1 isn’t enough. Which begs another question . . . is salt a drug?

Again, we come to the uneasy and overly simplified answer that is “It’s complicated”.

Under the headline “drug addiction” the medical world has exclusively been interested in psychoactive drugs. For diagnosis of substance dependence (addiction), DSM-IV-TR has determined seven criteria, and fulfilling at least tree of them signifies addiction. When studied salt intake according to these criteria it is seen that most of them are fulfilled, showing that sodium chloride, which is not classified under the psychoactive drugs, is capable of producing addiction. Namely: at the beginning of salt abstinence, anorexia and slight nausea during meal time (withdrawal symptoms); about 1000-fold difference of per capita salt consumption between several human societies, and life-long continuation of discretional salt intake behaviour (high dose and very long duration of use); difficulty of restriction of salt intake (unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control); lack of success of salt restriction campaigns in hypertensive patients (substance use despite health problem).

This is even more interesting.

The new finding suggests that drug addictions may be so hard to overcome in part because cocaine and opiates—both derived from plants—exploit the brain mechanisms critical for salt appetite.

In trying to answer 3 questions, I ended up showcasing a hidden truth of this (and arguably, many other) topics. There is far more to the picture than meets the eye.

The final entry on the previous list (prescription drugs) is arguably almost too vast to even really be a useful category. Even so, however, I would assume that the vast majority are not without consequences if used incorrectly. Hell, as the opioid crisis has recently shown, these drugs can be risky even if used correctly. A dangerous proposition, considering that a large part of many people’s arguments for the legalization of marijuana is based on quality control and regulation. If regulating authorities allow drug manufacturers to behave in the same manner as uncaring black market drug cutters and dealers, WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A REGULATED DRUG MARKET?!

No, I don’t want a libertarian marketplace that will kill millions more. I want things done correctly. While current manifestations of this are proving overzealous almost to the point of self-defeating in the legal marijuana marketplace (in both Canada AND legal cannabis states in the US), there does exist a happy medium. We will find it eventually.

Now that I have showcased how ambiguous even the definition of the word Drug is to me, I will try and get back on the track that I had intended on pursuing. Which was initially to describe how I am now all for the legalization (or at least decriminalization) of all drugs now. However, I ended up running into yet another consideration that I had not yet considered.

Essentially, what IS a soft drug? Or more importantly, what is my definition of harmless?

Regardless of the ambiguity that defines drugs from other physiologically active compounds, the 3 most common illicit psychedelics in use today can generally be considered harmless in comparison to everything running the gambit from Sugar/HFCS/Salt to the most potent prescription narcotic. However, as both users of such substances AND medical and human services professionals (guidance counsellors, addiction specialists etc) will tell you, physiological harm is not the whole picture. Such compounds can have dangerous and unexpected effects on one’s mental health.

Even though I am fairly certain that me taking a tab of LSD won’t harm me physically in any way, I am fully aware of the strong hallucinogenic properties of the substance. It is not something that should be messed with without proper preparation. While Shrooms are apparently not as much of a trip as acid, I am also hesitant to go down that road.
I am more comfortable with THC. However, even THC (particularly in high doses over long periods of time) is now known not to be as benign as many would like to think. Even to the point of potentially triggering latent schizophrenia in some patients.

The final claim has to be viewed with some context, however.

The reason why marijuana potency is so high in modern (particularly black market) strains boils down to market dynamics. There has always been (and likely will always be!) more money in pushing up the potency since this is what regular heavy users will desire (always needing stronger fixes on account of their increased tolerance). Whilst continually upping the THC whilst dropping (if not entirely eliminating) the CBD content is good for repeat customers, it can cause trouble for both recreational and new users of the drug. Whilst the harm of increasing dosages of THC overtime appears negligible in heavy users over long periods, the trouble can ensue when new users of all ages encounter these so-called superstrains. From causing previously unknown mental health traits (one being addiction) to potentially triggering full-on schizophrenia, increased THC over time is not without its consequences.

However, before people immediately jump to the conclusion that the solution is to revert back to antiquated policy decisions based on these observations, it is important that we learn how we got to be in this mess in the first place. Because though it is common for the anti-drug crowd to point out modern-day Superweed as though it appeared out of nowhere in a vacuum, that is very disingenuous at best.

The current day state of the black market marijuana industry is what one gets when they try to to solve a problem by simply pushing it under the rug. If I take it in a political direction, this is what a completely free-market libertarian guided industry looks like. The marketplace is the guiding hand in the whole process.
Whilst applicable to the whole of the black market drug industry, this dynamic tends to be most visible when it comes to substances like Heroin, since cutting with cheaper substances (like carfentanil) tends to have a body count.

Both end results (though very different) are a result of the same driving force, however. Without a watchful eye keeping tabs on quality control and not allowing cutting agents to turn already dangerous drugs into potentially lethal compounds, you end up with a profitable free-for-all. Whilst libertarians would claim that “dead bodies are bad for business!“, even legitimate corporations are often not beyond being pragmatic when the price is right.

Right on topic:

1.) Perdue Pharma and Oxycodone

2.) Insys Therapeutics and Subsys

And moving beyond the pharmaceutical industry:

3.) Volkswagon Group and Diesalgate

The in-depth details to this one are fascinating. Had the VW engineers utilized even HALF of the energy they utilized on the cheat software and put it towards building a better automobile, imagine where they could be now! 

4.) General Motors and Faulty Chevy Cobalt Ignition Switch

5.) Peanut Corporation Of America and Salmonella

6.) McDonnell Douglas And The Faulty DC10 Cargo Door Latch

I could probably have listed 10 (even 20, if not more), but you get the point. Despite the shenanigans and the ensuing body counts, all but 2 of the companies above are still in business as of today. 1 really, if you consider that Mcdonnel Douglas was acquired by Boeing. Speaking of which . . .

7.) UAL 811 Cargo Door Failure

The DC10 was not the only wide-body to suffer from problems with cargo door latching mechanisms. In fact, even the most recent version of the triple 7 has had such a failure become apparent. Let’s hope they handle it better than the 737 Max fiasco.

Speaking of which . . .

8.) 737 Max And MCAS

Since we are now thoroughly off-topic, I assume that you get the point. Capitalism, as it has manifested itself in modern times, is ruthlessly psychopathic to the point that even legitimate entities (in the eyes of the law) are often not beyond truly horrific inactions in order to keep costs down. In this sense, the underside of the illicit drug trade are really not all that surprising. The only difference I suppose is that such organizations as gangs and syndicates are not government-sanctioned.

Now . . . where were we . . .

Oh yeah. Soft drugs. What exactly constitutes a soft drug?

One potential definition that comes to mind would be drugs that cause the least amount of harm to those outside of the individual drug user. If I were to utilize that definition, then this graph will be sure to generate a fascinating reaction.

Either way, yet another nu-soft drug definition explored, I have strayed WAY off of where I thought I was going with this. Earlier, I mentioned that the current day drug scene (with all it’s gritty and deadly traits) is merely the culmination of what one ends up with when a thriving industry is allowed to remain unregulated indefinitely. While I stand by that statement, I have to also highlight that it is also what one ends up with when society as a whole turns it’s back on an issue rather than tackling it head-on.

This is the main reason why many of the so-called experts in this area piss me off. From police officers to school counsellors, they view all of the horrors and darkness of modern-day drug culture as though it just so happened that way. Back in the sixties it was all flower power and orgies, but then it all went to hell in a handbasket. The dysfunction and human toll are but a driving force for more of the same prohibition and eradication.
Even though many of the modern-day ramifications can be directly linked to prohibition policies. One obvious one being the uproar over the potential effects of Superweed on today’s children.

Children are losing their minds and more because of superweed. Ban it all!

Fine . . . I am playing a bit of a strawman game here.

Either way, so restrictive have the rules of prohibition been that VERY few academic institutions have been allowed to fully study the various effects of cannabis and cannabinoids (on humans, or in any context really!). As a result of this, not only has the ongoing evolution of the never-dying cannabis industry turned its users (primarily new users) into unknowing guinea pigs, but it has also stunted legitimate medical research. Had I not attempted to look into cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, this would not have occurred to me.

Whilst it is indeed true that we are almost blindly walking into the era of legalization of marijuana in terms of medical research, it didn’t have to be that way. The people at the forefront of our collective society made a choice based on idiotic biases and wrongful assumptions, and as a result, we are all playing catch up. 

I think the epitome of this stupidity has to be a quote I found in researching another post. Made by Dr. Abhimanyu Sud (pain expert and the academic director of the Safe Opioid Prescribing program at the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine), he said to Global News:

“There was a judicial decision in 2000 that said that it’s unjust to restrict access to marijuana for medical purposes so the federal government was compelled to produce an access-to-marijuana act — but this was not an evidence-based decision; this was a judicial decision,” he said.

“Now we have recreational legislation, and we are working against this idea that marijuana is relatively safe. If it wasn’t medicine, why would it be legalized?”

‘Marijuana is the new Oxycontin’: Should we be concerned with how docs are learning about pot?


Actually, I called him a moron lol. But as seemingly unhelpful as engaging in such apparent ad hominem attacks is . . . how can I NOT? We are dealing with a so-called expert that apparently has no use for the medical research system. Not only is he apparently against research into potential new medical breakthroughs, but it seems that he is propping up factually dangerous ones!

Consider this excerpt from a thumbnail of a youtube video put out by his organization.

If there is no known safe dosage, then WHY THE FUCK ARE WE PRESCRIBING THIS SHIT?!

In any case, drug prohibition has done nothing to solve any problems relating to substance abuse in Canada, or really ANYWHERE else in the world. If anything, various factors of the black market drug situation only have made things more complex, with users often being the unknowing guinea pigs and victims of various changes. Here in Canada (and elsewhere), this has become explicitly visible in the increasing number of deaths associated with illicit opioids, with fentanyl making many substances far more dangerous.

So dire is the situation that even the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has come out in favour of drug decriminalization.

The head of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) is calling for the decriminalization of simple possession of illicit drugs.

“Arresting individuals for simple possession of illicit drugs has proven to be ineffective,” Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer, who heads the CACP, said Thursday. “It does not save lives.”

Palmer says the chiefs recommend the “current enforcement-based approach for possession be replaced with a health-care approach that diverts people from the criminal justice system.”

The association is calling for the creation of a national task force to look into drug policy reform.

Enforcement and judicial efforts must continue to target trafficking and the illegal production and importation of drugs to choke off the supply of harmful substances coming communities, the chiefs say.

But the traditional role of frontline policing has fundamentally shifted to harm reduction when interacting with people experiencing addiction or mental-health problems, Palmer said in a statement.

Canadian police chiefs call for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Which brings me to the main update of my beliefs towards drugs as they stand now. I no longer draw a line between soft and hard drugs in terms of which substances to legalize. I have embraced across the board legalization of all substances. From the least potent right to the most potent, stop the prohibition and embrace a new era. 

The recommendations of the Canadian Police Association are easily doable and a very good start. But I think we should take it a step further. Let’s step entirely out of the realm of prohibition and bring it all into the green market.
In the now-infamous late 2000’s television staple that is Breaking Bad, Walter White (following a cancer diagnosis) in partnership with Jesse Pinkman, set out on the unorthodox new business venture that is cooking methamphetamine. Unlike the many others involved in the scene already, however, Walter plans on dominating by way of quality. His customers are indeed methheads, but none the less, even methheads deserve a quality product. And thus, blue sky was born.

If the goal was domination, Walt certainly got his wish as the season’s progressed. No effort whatsoever is spared in showcasing the murderous and often psychopathic elements that drive the criminal drug trade. No character is spared from the eventual fallout when it all eventually blows up, driving Walt into hiding.
It’s an interesting manifestation of the problems often created by criminals selling (or competing to sell) high-value substances of all kinds. People involved in all facets of the industry die. And even people uninvolved in the industry die (oftentimes in the crossfire).

It makes me wonder . . . what would occur if US national (and eventually international) drug policy was turned on its head, and the production of these products was legalized?

In some senses, we have already seen this is reality. The 2 cases in point involving products sold by Perdue Pharma and Insys Therapeutics (remember them?). Having said that, however, the 2 scenarios don’t really fit since both companies were using deceptive techniques to push the use cases of their flagship products WAY beyond what was FDA recommended. In contrast, The Blue Sky Amphetamine Corporation sales pitch is far more niche-oriented and honest.

“If you want meth, Blue Sky does it best”

Now that a large chunk of my audience may well be on the verge of losing their collective shit in the comment section (feel free!), may I remind you first of this graph.

I would also like to remind you of the other completely legal substances that one can find on that list.

According to other societal standards (as set by our tolerance of other substances), there is no reason why The Blue Sky Amphetamine Corporation should not exist. Sure, methamphetamine is a terribly addictive substance by any measure. But so is alcohol, and opioids, and tobacco. The fact that society holds double standards is hardly the fault of The Blue Sky Amphetamine Corporation.

It all boils down to it being a matter of personal choice. Whilst addiction and other complications are a part of the paradigm, drug use remains the choice of the individual user. Given that there is no stopping this paradigm without some serious breakages to privacy and democracy, it’s time that we embrace this fact of life.

Drugs are not going anywhere. So it’s time to take a different approach.

Start by bringing all of the production of these controlled substances into the realm of government oversight. Do as Walter White attempted to do in Breaking Bad . . . ensure that consistently trustworthy products are always available to those whom desire them. Instead of throwing money at keeping addicts in prison, do as the Canadian Association of Police Cheifs is urging and spend this cash on rehabilitation programs. This HAS to include programs encompassing mental health since many cases of addiction of all kinds begin with a trauma of some sort.

Another obvious consideration that comes to should be the various environments in which we are living in, and the various problems arising therein. For example, in areas of heavy employment outsourcing and otherwise job loss, signals of social deterioration also tend to rise (drug use, marital abuse, suicides etc). In fact, I wonder if it is mere coincidence that the opioid crisis in the US (and around the world, really) also coincided within the timeframe of the deindustrialization of many industries that used to dominate these economies.

Moving back to what we know, there is going to be a loss of many jobs on account of COVID 19 bankrupting vulnerable employers. Call that stage 0 of a brave new world. Stage 1 comes when the technology driving the 2ed phase of workforce automation begins to be both reliable and cheap enough to replace human workers (expect COVID 19 to also potentially speed up this process in some cases). How many stages remain before the final (and what the timeframe remains between then and now) is a question mark, however, it is closer than we all likely realize. Post all the anti-self checkout memes on Facebook that you like, the change is coming.

And again, I find myself tying a seemingly unrelated topic into the future of work as we know it. A topic that I previously delved into HERE as a direct result of my realization that many in Canada were betting all on the losing horse that it the Oilsands. 
Right now, the government’s solution to a sluggish and underperforming oil sands economy has so far been appeasement. Build a pointless pipeline, talk highly about Canadian energy, and otherwise kick the can down the road until the following election. Rinse and repeat. Until eventually the truth becomes too apparent for even the most deluded proponent to ignore, and then it’s too late. After which large areas (potentially including major cities like Calgary, Edmonton and (in particular!) Fort Macmurray may find themselves seeing situations akin to those of Detroit, Clevland or Gary. The monolithic industries left, leaving only ruins, pain and personal destruction in their wake.

This arguably an ENTIRELY different conversation. I know.
The relationship that we all have towards work, and the antiquated notion that the amount you work is directly connected to your self-worth, has to change. It has always been inhumane if you think about it (employers get your best years, but you can have the final 10/20/30 when everything is breaking down and increasingly painful!). In this age, it is also a recipe for a mental health disaster and potentially a civil unrest powderkeg. Given that Donald Trump was already elected once (as per this writing), are we already starting to see the effects?   

Drug policy is but a small part of the overall picture. Given the nature of the situation, however, I now feel that the best path forward is one of complete personal freedom with regard to substances.

Feel free to keep age restrictions on the nastier of the substances in order to keep them out of the hands of minors (age restriction doesn’t ALWAYS keep cigarettes or alcohol away from minors, but the safeguard is much more reliable than placing the responsibility on a black market dealer that likely prioritizes money over ethics). Ensure that plenty of resources are available for substance misuse treatment (and mental illness in general, since this area is SEVERLY LACKING in most areas). However, end the self-defeating and ultimately fruitless pursuit that is attempting to stop humans from doing as humans wish.

And now, back to a FAR less nuanced and considerate version of myself.

And one of the funniest things to me about the whole situation, is that there are many anti-legalization people that partake in various combinations of the above “legal” drugs. Likely because of previous misconceptions and beliefs from dishonest school drug education programs and parents, but no less hypocritical. A part of me is inclined to put them in the same category as the religious, but there’s a reason I won’t.

Most christians and theists with a web presence and a desire to “spread the word”, have run into folks like me, the ATHEISTS. Haha.

And they usually run from our groups with there tails between there legs. And censor us in there groups, and kick our heathen asses out when we misbehave (aka, ask questions. lol). And when not in control of content, they use the report button and cause all kinds of irritation and annoyance. Ive been forum surfing FB for the last 5 or so years, and I know many of the tricks of the fundaMENTAList pain in the asses.

But that’s another entry . . .

As is apparent, I was obviously still a Dawkins A flaunting, Christian irritating, obnoxious jackass of an example of the secular community at this time. Don’t get me wrong, I had me some fun before it all got boring. None the less, it is no less cringe-inducing in hindsight.

Lol . . . fundaMENTALists.


In any case, theists have many people questioning there thoughtless assertions regarding there chosen brand of god.


Oh, the irony.

The Atheist self-labelled guy calls out Christians and their thoughtless assertions regarding their chosen brand.

On the other hand, what the hell was I talking about?!

Online the conversations are all over the place, and not hard to find. But honest and factual drug conversation, is a different story. Which is why I am not quick to put the anti-drug folks in with the theists.

If there is one thing I want to bring up on this topic (that I don’t often get to elsewhere, because of prying eyes), its the amount of HARM police do by riding the streets of green. At different times over the years, I have been around people calling around for some ganja. And many of these times, I heard “I have no green, this town is dry right now. But I do have snow, or rock”.

Yes. The police got the cannabis off the streets and kept it out of the hands of stoners and kids alike. Only NOW, since a business man sells anything he has to make a profit, they have now possibly driven the kids to moving UP the ladder, and possibly trying something a WHOLE lot more dangerous.

The first paragraph . . . not sure where I was going with that. But the anecdote that follows perfectly illustrates one of the reasons why I think all substances should be legalized.

And to a degree, we see a form of this, when you hear the harm/deaths associated with things like “synthetic marijuana” or “bath salts”. Im shooting in the dark here (I admit), but im thinking its one of 2 things:

a.) weed is hard to get


b.) They have been taught that illegal = BAD, and automatically assume that legal = good (the stuff can be purchased almost anywhere! Its easy to think someone young would assume it harmless)

One can not have a post like this without referencing Alcohol prohibition. That worked so well, that it stayed on the books. Right?

Which brings us to the demand aspect. Even though the LAW said no alcohol, the consumer demand does not dwindle and die. It looks for another source. To which the underworld happily filled, reaping all the illegal (tax free!) profits, and left the public (tax payers!) to deal with the increased crime rates associated with enabling a criminal racket. And when you give a crime ring more money, they get more powerful.

We seen it then. We see it now. All you have to do is look to the state of Mexico at the moment.

Again, I went on a bit of a journey there for the first couple of paragraphs. But it all comes together in the final paragraph.

As well as Mexico, I will add Houndorus, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and no doubt others.

And then there is the financials.

At the moment, gov’ts world wide waste BILLIONS of dollars, resources (and at times) lives, trying to fight an UN-winnable battle against weed. In a period when every penny counts, were still throwing money at people to use expensive whack-a-mole techniques to chop a twig off the tree. Its like using a bucket to drain Lake Superior.

Which is stupid, when you consider that with the right legislation, marijuana could be a VERY profitable cash crop the world over. If handled and sold in the same ways we already sell alcohol and tobacco, the possibilities for the economy are HUGE.

What a strange time to have been alive.

If I wanted weed then, I needed a dealer (and therefore, a connection). If I want weed now, I just need to take a gander to one of the several dispensaries located around my city (or I can order online and have it delivered right to my door!). Something I have not yet done, despite saying that I would do so when things were legal over 2 years ago now.

Though I have smoked marijuana in the past (over a decade ago now), it has never been high on my priorities list. But I have always been an advocate.

Imagine if the US began producing its own pot. The first ramification I can see, is the cash flow to the cartel would quickly dry up. The 2ed, is the drug would become harder to get by young people, as it would be sold in the same way as alcohol/tabbaco/other legal narcotics. And it would take a HUGE burden off of law enforcement, allowing them to concentrate on getting that drugs that really DO harm or kill people (Crack, cocain, meth ect) off the streets.

Someday, it could happen. But it won’t, unless we spread the truth about Marijuana. Dispel rampant misconceptions.

Just imagine . . .

The future is here, folks. But we still have work to do.



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