Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Of Mice and Mary Jane

There's an old saying I remember from the early days of teh Interwebz, when I used to participate in forums and discussion boards as an enthusiastic ideologue and supporter of the right wing, neo-conned, war-mongering platform: " Libertarians are just Democrats who love their guns or Republicans who love to smoke pot."

Growing up in Hawaii, this definition means a lot of people here are Libertarian and they don't even know it.

Despite being a Bush-voting, gun-toting, Rush-listening, FAUXNews-watching, Republi-conned warmonger that believed in 99% of the right wing platform, I still partook of the medicinal herb like the majority of my classmates, peers and acquaintances while growing up here. In my time, I've personally known police officers, Doctors, CEO's, Bankers, Pilots, Teachers, Engineers, Social Workers and every flavor of blue collared trade workers who all enjoyed the fruits of the forbidden plant. It was the one point for which I would have vehement disagreements with my right wing cohorts on teh interwebz.

These were the early beginnings of my unplugging from the matrix of our bi-factional ruling party charade aka "Democracy."

Indeed, while I was attending the University of Hawaii, one of my classes required researching a socio-political topic, writing a paper and then giving a 10 minute presentation to the class about what I had learned. The professor gave us a list of topics, and I selected "The History of Marijuana Prohibition in the US."

In hindsight, I now realize that selecting that topic was my very first "red-pill" moment.

The history of marijuana prohibition was my introduction to the truly fascist nature of USA Inc. It contained all of the elements of the corporatist collusion of Big Business, the Federal Government, Federal Law Enforcement and controlled media disseminating propaganda to effect cannabis prohibition for the benefit of a multitude of special interests.

It was all there...the DuPont corporation had just patented an expensive, paper making process out of wood pulp when the latest science publications of the day where predicting a revolution in paper making due to the recent development of inventions that made producing paper from hemp far more efficient and profitable than wood pulp. To protect their investments in their wood pulp process and millions of acres of timberland to produce their paper products, the DuPont interests enlisted the first "drug czar," Harry Anslinger to push for prohibition. Anslinger was related by marriage to the Father of "Yellow Journalism," William Randolph Hearst, they colluded to manufacture public consensus to effect prohibition of the hemp plant. In order to get rid of the competitive threat posed by industrial hemp, they went after marijuana and conflated the two similar plants to drive the threat of competition out of the market. Remember: Government Regulation + Industry = Cartel.

This triumvirate was the entity behind the production of sensationalistic, over-the-top propaganda  like Reefer Madness. W.R. Hearst had one of the widest circulations of national newspapers, and he regularly ran tabloid articles that became the forerunner to our modern day's equivalent of fear campaigns in our mass media that support the current "War on Terror" and the continuing trade off of liberty for our so-called security by the rulers of our society. But I digress.

Hearst ran headlines like "Marihuana Makes Fiends of Boys in 30 Days," and "Hasheesh Goads Users to Blood-Lust" and filled his papers with articles describing how epidemic of marijuana-crazed negroes were raping white women and playing voodoo-satanic jazz music while under the influence of the devil weed from Mexico. Indeed, such sensationalist propaganda was cited on the floor of congress during the debates on passing the various acts of legislation that resulted in prohibition.

One of the proponents for prohibition even basically admitted under congressional testimony that the effort was basically a move to make an end-run around the 10th amendment so that the Federal Government could control the sale of marijuana in the exact same way it had done so with machine guns. A lawyer for the Treasury Department (run by Andrew Mellon), Clinton Hester, stated the following:

“The Harrison Act has twice been sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States, and lawyers are no longer challenging its constitutionality. If an entirely new and different subject matter were to be inserted in its provisions, the act might be subject to further constitutional attacks.”

The Harrison Act of 1914 was the first Federal Government Act to control narcotic substances like heroin and cocaine. (Note that one year after the Federal Reserve Act and the first National Income Tax were instituted, the very next thing the Banksters who had taken over the US Federal Government accomplished was the establishment of Federal Bureaucracy to regulate narcotic manufacture and use.)

Those who opposed the original Marijuana Tax Act asked the proponents of prohibition why they didn't just lobby to have marijuana included in the Harrison Act.

Congressman Lewis of Maryland: “On what basis did the justices who dissented question the constitutionality of the Harrison Act? “

Treasury Dept. Attorney Hester: “The focal point of the attack was that the provision which limited the persons to whom narcotics could be sold clearly indicated that the primary purpose of the act was not to raise revenue, but to regulate matters which were reserved to the States under the 10th Amendment.”

In other words the proponents of Prohibition knew the weakness of the Constitutionality of prohibiting substances, and were afraid trying to add marijuana to the Harrison Act would re-open challenges to the Act's constitutionality that the Supreme Court of that era had recently ruled in favor of - goodbye 10th Amendment!.

Instead, they wanted to use the same successful approach to prohibitively tax marijuana the same way they used a tax scheme to make and end run around the 2nd Amendment to prohibit the sale of machine guns to the citizenry.

Hester testified:

"This bill would permit anyone to purchase marijuana as was done in the National Firearms Act in permitting anyone to buy a machine gun. But he would have to pay a tax of $100 per ounce of marijuana and make his purchase on an official order form. A person who wants to buy marijuana would have to go to the collector and get an order form in duplicate, and buy the $100 tax stamp and put it on the original order form there. He would take the original to the vendor, and keep the duplicate. If the purchaser wants to transfer it, the person who purchases the marijuana from him has to do the same thing and pay the $100 tax. That is the scheme that has been adopted to stop high-school children from getting marijuana.”

In many ways, Marijuana prohibition was the first major front of the Borg's implementation of corporatist assimilation of what was once a free market driven, Capitalist Republic into the current Fascist state of our current Brave New World Order. It was the model now employed by a wide variety of BIG industries and their incestuous relationship with Big Government's regulatory agencies to establish Big Business cartels that now span the entire planet.

So what does this all have to do with mice?

Here we are, 77 years after propaganda like Reefer Madness was produced to manufacture consensus and instill fear to accomplish the empowerment of the Federal Government and protect the financial interests of wood-pulp-paper corporations, and the powers behind prohibition are as entrenched in our Government-Corporate-Media triumvirate as ever, and still putting out yellow journalism-styled propaganda to support prohibition.

Just last month the following headlines appeared all over the mass media organs around the world:

Marijuana Use in Adolescents May Lead to Long-term Cognitive Impairment 

Adolescents, but not adults, who regularly use marijuana may permanently impair their brain function and cognition and may also be at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new preclinical research by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Asaf Keller, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UM and lead study author, says that the topic of whether marijuana use in adolescents can cause long-term heath effects is controversial, but that the latest study provides further evidence that regular marijuana use in adolescents can be harmful.

Ok, got it. Regular marijuana use in adolescents can be harmful...then you read on and you find that the research was conducted on adolescents alright...adolescent mice.

"The study began by examining cortical oscillations in mice."

Just like any other study with supposed results, I got a number of questions to pose here. So....did the mice actually smoke marijuana? How much? What kind and quality? Did they use bongs or did they roll them up in joints? Did the specify whether they used indica or sativa strains? Did they smoke some Purple Kush or White Widow? If this study is supposed to be relevant to human adolescents use of marijuana, shouldn't they use it in the same manner typical pot smoking humans do in the interests of accuracy?

Let's look at what they actually did:

Humans were not involved in the study. Instead, Keller and his colleagues used adolescent mice that had never been exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, subjecting the mice to low doses of the active compound for 20 days before reintroducing them to their sibling mice and allowing them to develop normally.

They "exposed" them to THC. Well that answers that, I guess. Whether or not we can extrapolate exposing an active compound to mice versus human adolescents smoking various strains of differing quality  of marijuana (and the hundreds of other components found in marijuana in addition to THC) is besides the point. That last sentence quoted already exposes a giant flaw in this studies methodology.

They removed adolescent mice from their siblings before administering a dosage of THC. What does that have to do with marijuana's supposed impairment of cognitive development in the brains of adolescent mice?

Have a look see here:

The impact of adolescent social isolation on dopamine D2 and cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the adult rat prefrontal cortex.

 "Adolescent experiences of social deprivation result in profound and enduring perturbations in adult behavior, including impaired sensorimotor gating." deprivation in rats caused impairments in cognitive development. I suppose if we can extrapolate adolescent mice experiments to adolescent humans, we can certainly do the same in extrapolating studies from rats to mice, no?

Here's a question for the researchers: Where was the control group of 20 mice that were removed from their siblings and not exposed to THC? 

Oh, and since we're on the topic of extrapolating rodent studies to apply them to humans, what about this study?

Paternal Deprivation Alters Region- and Age-Specific Interneuron Expression Patterns in the Biparental Rodent (pdf)

A variety of studies revealed that growing up without a supportive and caring father increases the risk of mental dysfunctions, low educational performance, and criminal activity (Baskerville 2002; O’Neill 2002; Erhard and Janig 2003; Boyce et al. 2006). The importance of paternal care and the survival benefits for his offspring is also emerging from studies in a variety of rodents (Wynne-Edwards 1987;Cantoni and Brown 1997; Libhaber and Eilam 2002; Wright and Brown 2002; Vieira and Brown 2003; Bredy et al. 2004; Schradin and Pillay 2004; Bredy et al. 2007; Helmeke et al. 2009; Pinkernelle et al. 2009). 
It appears likely that the behavioral differences of father-deprived individuals result from altered brain circuits, which have been formed under semi-deprived (i.e., without father) family conditions.

Somehow I doubt we're gonna see a proliferation of headlines touting the problems of adolescents raised in social isolation or without their fathers as a cause of impaired cognitive development any time soon. We can't consider this, because so much of our current system is set up to profit from the removal of Father's from Western family life. It' can't be that.... It's teh devilWEED!

What's instructive about all this though, is that this is just another example of how studies are conducted IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE, and then misleading headlines and news reports are generated to accomplish whatever agenda the social engineers in control of our mass media want to effect. They use the same tactics to generate informational cascades amongst the populace to get us all to believe whatever they want us to, like: eating red meat is bad (no really, red meat is REALLY bad!), sun bathing without sunscreen at high noon is bad, that salt in our food is bad, that fluoride in our water is good, that saturated fat found in natural foods will clog our arteries, that eating fish will give us mercury poisoning, that soy is a health food, and that we all need to eat whole grains and fiber for our digestive health....

It's a good thing we live in a world for which our Government and media have been able to get we the sheeple to give up beliefs in mythological, primitive superstitions like religion! We've got science, and scientists to figure it all out for us! They would never deliberately mislead us with their scientific studies and science journalism reporting in the mass media to serve a malevolent and lucrative agenda....right?!?!??!


Cranberry said...

Bad science. Only study one variable at a time! This was beaten into me (by nuns and brothers*, no less) that poor science fails to isolate the variable being studied. *Brothers are celibate Catholic ministers, but not priests. Most of my encounters with them were as teachers of theology, science and math in Catholic schools.

I don't recommend smoking MJ (I've done it), but the propaganda and misinformation about why it can be bad and its effects are a .gov con-job.

Like you KG, almost everyone from cops to CEOs does/has done it at some point. And while I think it is a net negative when done long-term (as is drinking, pain killers, fapping, whatever gets you happy), it's quite harmless to use the same way some people drink a beer after work. Far more relaxing and inducing of thoughtfulness than the crap TeeVee has to offer for recreation. I once told a teenager that watching Jersey Shore was more harmful to his brain than smoking pot. His mom (no dad in the picture) threatened to have me arrested for inciting kids to drug use. Is there even such a statute? Never bothered to look it up, she forgot all about the incident and her son the next time she went to Florida with her boyfriend for a long weekend.

I still hear people say that MJ is a gateway drug, too. If that were the case, half my friends would be dead of heroin OD by now, because they loved them some pot and surely would have moved on to harder and harder stuff years ago.

The core of this post is poorly done science, but also poorly understood science. Seldom do I encounter people ABLE, let alone willing, to critically read an article written about a scientific study, or the study itself. Planned that way via our education system, to be sure.

gaoxiaen said...

Science has nothing to do with it. It's culture war (political scare-mongering), racism, and easy duty for the DEA, as well as big profits for the Prison-Industrial complex.

Anonymous said...

Think the whole Dupont thing is bad with Mary Jane? Do so research on "Tromp Water Compressors" and you'll be equally pissed at how the machine crushes cheap, free energy.

Newly Aloof

cave horse said...

Science is God until it conflicts with your preconceived notions, personal prejudices, and financial incentives.

Bob Wallace said...

The schizophrenics I've met can rarely handle marijuana. They try it once and that's it. And it's happened before they became schizophrenic. In fact, I consider the inabilility to handle it - and alcohol - the sign of a larger problem.

Spike Gomes said...

I'm not schizo, but I can't really handle marijuana either. It ratchets up my senses and cognition to overwhelming levels. I'm guessing schizos feel something like that 24/7 already. That said, I do recognize the medical benefits and lack of harm to most people. Now if only medical marijuana advocates would recognize medical use of tobacco!

Julius severus said...

sorry dude, but you are on the wrong side of this one, on at least two accounts: 1) the Illuminati are PROMOTING pot use, as a stoner population is exactly what they want. and more importantly, 2) MJ really is harmful. the schizophrenia issue has already been established in real HUMAN trials:

Pot Triggers Psychotic Symptoms

London(AP)—New findings on marijuana's damaging effect on the brain show the drug triggers temporary psychotic symptoms in some people, including hallucinations and paranoid delusions, doctors say… The results, to be presented at an international mental health conference in London on Tuesday and Wednesday, provides physical evidence of the drug's damaging influence on the human brain. "We've long suspected that cannabis is linked to psychoses, but we have never before had scans to show how the mechanism works,'' said Dr. Philip McGuire, a professor of psychiatry at King's College, London. In analyzing MRI scans of the study's subjects, McGuire and his colleagues found that THC interfered with activity in the inferior frontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with paranoia. "THC is switching off that regulator,'' McGuire said, effectively unleashing the paranoia usually kept under control by the frontal cortex.

In another study being presented at the conference, scientists found that marijuana worsens psychotic symptoms of schizophrenics. Doctors at Yale University in the U.S. tested the impact of THC on 150 healthy volunteers and 13 people with stable schizophrenia. Nearly half of the healthy subjects experienced psychotic symptoms when given the drug.

While the doctors expected to see marijuana improve the conditions of their schizophrenic subjects—since their patients reported that the drug calmed them—they found that the reverse was true. "I was surprised by the results,'' said Dr. Deepak Cyril D'Souza, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University's School of Medicine. "In practice, we found that cannabis is very bad for people with schizophrenia,'' he said. While D'Souza had intended to study marijuana's impact on schizophrenics in more patients, the study was stopped prematurely because the impact was so pronounced that it would have been unethical to test it on more people with schizophrenia. "One of the great puzzles is why people with schizophrenia keep taking the stuff when it makes the paranoia worse,'' said Dr. Robin Murray, a professor of psychiatry at King's College. Experts theorized that schizophrenics may mistakenly judge the drug's pleasurable effects to outweigh any negatives.

gaoxiaen said...

@Julius severus
Link or STFU

paleopaleo said...

I told my son not to try pot until he's 20-plus. I've known too many people in the past that smoked way too much as teenagers and are now dependent. Without it they are easily agitated.

Conversely the folks I know who waited until college seem to use only occasionally. I know, I know correlation is not causation. But with my kid that's what I'm sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

You have an excellent ability to find the right threads to pull.