CBC Gets All Hepped up About Getting High

To toke or not to toke. That is the question.

One the one hand: Take me higher. Come on, come on, take me higher. Apart from taking the edge off, it helps a vital part of the economy. On second thought, no. That stuff isn’t good for me. Gives me the proverbial heebie-jeebies. I come over all funny, as they say in some parts of England.

The CBC, God bless it and all, is a tad obsessed with the subject. Tonight it devotes not one, but two, programs to the subject. First there’s a scary doc about the possible ill-effects of smoking weed. “Can smoking pot make teenagers psychotic?” is the provocative tag given to one of the two programs. Then we are informed about the sheer size and depth of the weed industry. Obviously we are being pressed to take this subject very seriously.

Me, I want nothing to do with it. Not the subject, just the weed. It’s been decades since I indulged. London, England, summers of 1977 and ’78, I think. I have hazy memories of seeing Polly Styrene and X-ray Spex and Sham 69 at place like The Greyhound and the Hope & Anchor. I think. The Stranglers at The Marquee Club. The Clash, somewhere or other, the Pistols at the 100 Club. I’m sure my memories would be a lot clearer if it wasn’t for the smoking that was going on. Gave it up, then. Stuck to the Dry Sherry and such. And I’m a better man for it. But that’s just me. You and your cronies can indulge all you like and great good luck to you.

The Downside of High (CBC, 8 p.m. on The Nature of Things) is a warning about smoking pot. It’s not alarmist, it’s educational. At one point a Mountie turns up and speaks eloquently and knowledgably about the strength of the dope that people are smoking these days. Who knew? The upshot is that today’s pot is extraordinarily potent when compared with what people were smoking in the 1960’s. People have worked hard at increasing the amount of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – and this, we are told can be dangerous for what is called “the developing teenage brain.” We are told that the stuff being grown in Holland and in British Columbia, is astonishingly strong.

We meet three teenagers whose mental illnesses were triggered by smoking pot. One young man hadn’t consumed that much weed, but the drug had a dramatic effect on his brain. His behaviour became increasingly psychotic and eventually he spent a year in hospital. When family members describe what was happening to him, a terrifying picture is presented. Mind you, this program is not scaremongering. It’s about science – the research done by people who have found that, in rare cases, a teenage brain can react dramatically and alarmingly to contemporary weed.

Cannabiz (CBC, 9 p.m. on Doc Zone) begins by telling us that four million Canadians admit to more than an occasional toke. It seems we love the stuff, which means that it’s a major business opportunity. In fact, we are informed, the marijuana-related industry has more workers than mining and forestry, combined. The business is worth $20 billion annually.

The town of Grand Forks, B.C., get special attention. The cops say one house in 10 has a grow-op. A guy named Taylor has the cameras follow him as he plants weed in the nearby woods. ”I’m not doing anything wrong here,” he says. Growing tomatoes as far I’m concerned.” He’s looking at revenue of $50,000 if things go as planned. The locals have mixed opinions on what is a major local industry. “Marijuana is medicinal, it makes a lot of people feel good,” one man says. “It’s disgusting,” a woman says. The former mayor is a passionate marijuana advocate.

The point, however, is this – the days of pot being a laid-back business, mainly carried out by mom-and-pop operators, are gone. The prohibition against buying and selling dope has led to billions of dollars going into the hands of organized crime. Remember the brilliant series Intelligence? That was no fantasy. A central figure in the documentary (made by writer/director Lionel Goddard) is an RCMP Constable in Grand Forks. It’s his job to enforce the existing laws on marijuana. “I kind of like to focus my attention on the bigger guys, “ he says. And then if I run out of bigger guys, I guess I’ll move on down the chain” The problem, he advises us, is that “the bigger guys” can be a nasty, violent bunch. We see an array of weaponry that’s as scary as the picture of the marijuana-induced psychosis in The Downside of High.

The program is filled with fascinating characters and startling facts. In the end, the situation seemed as muddled as ever. Medical marijuana and the existence of “compassion clubs” that supply marijuana for various ailments, have complicated things. And the program concludes with a meeting between that RCMP Constable and a licensed grower, that neatly captures all the complications.

After watching the two programs you’ll understand why the marijuana issue is a lightning rod for debate and dissent. And they are best watched in clear, cold sobriety. When you get hepped up on the issue – as CBC is correct to do here – you realize it’s a serious, sobering situation.

– Article from The Globe & Mail.

Comments

20 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    I offer the same prices but operate for compassion and do not require ID…
    [email protected]

  2. Anonymous on

    I offer the same prices but operate for compassion and do not require ID…
    [email protected]

  3. Anonymous on

    People like me give you scientific episodes.

  4. Anonymous on

    I have MS, and I buy medical marijuana from a mail order company that’s safe and legal. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. http://www.medme.ca

  5. BC_Budman on

    Once again … correlation does not mean causation. If buds are matured longer on the stalk THC will change to CBD. CBD hasn’t been bred out. I’ll wait for more studies.

  6. for real on

    ppl like you give me psychotic episodes

  7. Scared Straight on

    Well, bottom line is some have a predisposed disposition to psychosis while others do not. Its in genetics as the show points out.

    The show scared me straight, smoking pot is not worth taking the risk of developing mental problem, which can be argued that it already has for me, irrational anxiety and panic have grpped me the last while so I’m quitting pot all together..right now. 7 years toking and thats it for me. Adios pot ! Gotta move on.

  8. Bud 72 on

    I hope everyone takes a look at this before deciding to get holier than thou about pot “causing all schizophrenia”

    Minimal Relationship Between Cannabis and Schizophrenia, Says New UK Study

    concerns that the more potent varieties of cannabis may increase the risk of schizophrenia in young people prompted the UK government to reclassify cannabis from a class C to a class B drug last year.

    But the evidence for the relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia or psychosis remains controversial. A new study has determined that it may be necessary to stop thousands of cannabis users in order to prevent a single case of schizophrenia.

    scientists from Bristol, Cambridge and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took the latest information on numbers of cannabis users, the risk of developing schizophrenia, and the risk that cannabis use causes schizophrenia to estimate how many cannabis users may need to be stopped to prevent one case of schizophrenia. The study found it would be necessary to stop 2800 heavy cannabis users in young men and over 5000 heavy cannabis users in young women to prevent a single case of schizophrenia. Among light cannabis users, those numbers rise to over 10,000 young men and nearly 30,000 young women to prevent one case of schizophrenia.

    That’s just part of the story. Interventions to prevent cannabis use typically do not succeed for every person who is treated. Depending on how effective an intervention is at preventing cannabis use, it would be necessary to treat even higher numbers of users to achieve the thousands of successful results necessary to prevent a very few cases of schizophrenia.

    Matt Hickman, one of the authors of the report published last week in the scholarly journal Addiction, said that “preventing cannabis use is important for many reasons – including reducing tobacco and drug dependence and improving school performance. But our evidence suggests that focusing on schizophrenia may have been misguided. Our research cannot resolve the question whether cannabis causes schizophrenia, but does show that many people need to give up cannabis in order to have an impact on the number of people with schizophrenia. The likely impact of re-classifying cannabis in the UK on schizophrenia or psychosis incidence is very uncertain.”

  9. BC_Budman on

    Even if your made up figures were true, 10,000,000 psychotic episodes would still occur. While we are all now smoking sensemilla (the stronger stuff) the number of incidents should have gone up. Since it hasn’t, you are wrong in your suppositions. And since I’ve just blazed up before writing this I should be incomprehensible … not. Maybe you should follow previous advice and do a little reading, though given your reasoning power you probably wouldn’t even comprehend what you were reading.

  10. Anonymous on

    David Suzuki, Conservative Pawn

  11. Worm on

    That was by far David Suzuki’s worst effort.

    Peace & Pot

  12. Anonymous on

    Getting paranoid is half the fun moron. You must have never gotten truly high because if you had you would see the world so much clearer.I was living in a basement for a year not smoking and working so much I had no time for friends.when I got of UAs I bought sum cough and as soon as I hit it I realized that the last year of my life had been wasted.I felt like a loser.now I blaze 2-3 times a week and am in the process of purchasing a condo.week makes life clear bro.just inhale and release the stress

  13. Jbird on

    seriously

  14. Anonymous on

    To drink or not to drink. That is the question.

    One the one hand: Take me Lower. Come on, come on, take me Lower. Apart from taking the edge off, it helps a useless part of the economy. On second thought, no. That stuff isn’t good for me. Gives me the proverbial heebie-jeebies. I come over all stupid, as they say in some parts of the World.

    The CBC, God bless it and all, is a tad oblivious with the subject. Tonight it devotes not one, but two, programs to the subject. First there’s a scary doc about the possible ill-effects of Drinking Alcohol. “Can Drinking Alcohol make teenagers psychotic?” is the provocative tag given to one of the two programs. Then we are informed about the sheer size and depth of the Alcohol industry. Obviously we are being pressed to take this subject very seriously.

    Me, I want nothing to do with it. Not the subject, just the Alcohol. It’s been decades since I indulged. London, England, summers of 1977 and ’78, I think. I have hazy memories of seeing Double Vision (from being drunk) and X-ray Spex and Sham 69 at place like The Greyhound and the Hope & Anchor. I think. The Stranglers at The Marquee Club. The Clash, somewhere or other, the Pistols at the 100 Club. I’m sure my memories would be a lot clearer if it wasn’t for the Excessive Drinking that was going on causing many to black out. Gave it up, then. Stuck to the cannabis and Hash. And I’m a better man for it. But that’s just me. You and your cronies can indulge all you like and great good luck to you.

    The Downside of Drunkenness (CBC, 8 p.m. on The synthetic side of Things) is a warning about Drinking Alcohol. It’s not alarmist, it’s educational. At one point a Mountie turns up and speaks eloquently and knowledgeably about the strength of the Alcohol that people are Drinking these days. Who knew? The upshot is that today’s alcohol is extraordinarily potent when compared with what people were drinking in the 1960’s. People have worked hard at increasing the amount of alcohol %vol – the active ingredient in Alcoholic Drinks – and this, we are told can be dangerous for what is called “the developing teenage brain.” We are told that the stuff being brewed in Holland and in British Columbia, is astonishingly strong.

    We meet three teenagers whose mental illnesses were triggered by underlying pre-existing conditions which were brought out by excessive drinking. One young man hadn’t consumed that much beer, but the legal drug had a dramatic effect on his brain. His behavior became increasingly psychotic and eventually he spent a year in hospital. When family members describe what was happening to him, a terrifying picture is presented. Mind you, this program is not scaremongering. It’s about science – the research done by people who have found that, in rare cases, a teenage brain can react dramatically and alarmingly to any mind altering substance especially alcohol and even more so when pre-existing conditions had been ignored or not identified out of ignorance.

    Alcobiz (CBC, 9 p.m. on Doc Zone) begins by telling us that four million Canadians admit to more than an occasional Drink of alcohol. It seems we love the stuff, which means that it’s a major business opportunity. In fact, we are informed, the alcohol-related industry has more workers than mining and forestry, combined. The business is worth $20 billion annually.

    The town of Grand Forks, B.C., get special attention. The cops say one house in 10 has a illegal still or home Brewery. A guy named Taylor has the cameras follow him as he loads grain into a distillation unit in the nearby woods. ”I’m not doing anything wrong here,” he says. Making Lemonade as far I’m concerned.” He’s looking at revenue of $50,000 if things go as planned. The locals have mixed opinions on what is a major local industry. “Alcohol is a major boost to the health care industries pocket, it makes a lot of people feel like shit when they wake in the morning,” one man says. “It’s disgusting,” a woman says. The former mayor is a passionate alcohol advocate.

    The point, however, is this – the days of alcohol being a laid-back business, mainly carried out by mom-and-pop operators, are gone. The prohibition against buying and selling hooch has led to billions of dollars going into the hands of organized crime. Remember the brilliant series Intelligence? That was no fantasy. A central figure in the documentary (made by writer/director Lionel Goddard) is an RCMP Constable in Grand Forks. It’s his job to enforce the existing laws on alcohol. “I kind of like to focus my attention on the bigger guys, “ he says. And then if I run out of bigger guys, I guess I’ll move on down the chain” The problem, he advises us, is that “the bigger guys” can be a nasty, violent bunch. We see an array of weaponry that’s as scary as the picture of the alcohol-induced psychosis in The Downside of High.

    The program is filled with fascinating characters and startling facts. In the end, the situation seemed as muddled as ever. Moonshine Alcohol and the existence of “speakeasy clubs” that supply alcohol for various under-aged and restricted citizens, have complicated things. And the program concludes with a meeting between that RCMP Constable and a licensed alcohol exporter, that neatly captures all the complications.

    After watching the two programs you’ll understand why the alcohol issue is a lightning rod for debate and dissent. And they are best watched in clear, cold sobriety. When you get hepped up on the issue – as CBC is correct to do here – you realize it’s a serious, sobering situation.

      …………………………………………………

    Funny If you use your brain and change the name and take the moment to remember the lessons learned from history,,, The original author not only was too overcome with reffer-maddness that he didn’t spell check or thing of how much of an ass he will look like to anyone with a gram of common sense! Have another drink on me but when you leave to drive home let me know so i can get of the road , k? thanks dick

  15. Anonymous on

    None of what you said makes any sense.
    An overdose is not “People smoking so much they go into couch lock. and can;t respond to their environment
    ir finish a complete thought
    or socially withdraw, either during the episode or in general into a steel shell of intoxication.”

    Thats just simply being high, and is nothing compared to being drunk. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
    People can get off their couch no problem, none of what you said makes ANY sense.
    “And I have seen and been very inconvenienced by people eating too much pot and they sleep for days, unable to move. If there was a fire in the house they would likely have slept through it and burned to death,..we had to slap them awake every 12 hrs and force feed them water or they would have dehydrated in their zoned out mega naps.. thanks to pot”
    That’s just total bullshit, and not even close to the effects of pot. Maybe heroin or meth… but certainly not weed.
    Nothing you said makes any sense, nor have I had any experience among my MANY friends that smoke pot.

    You’re just a fear monger-er, and it’s clear you just make up bullshit to support prohibition.

  16. Cannabeaux on

    “so if alcohol induces 40,000,000 psychotic episodes then we still get TEN MILLION PSYCHOTIC EPISODES thanks to pot alone”

    Well it’s certainly an impressive number. But it’s completely fictional. These numbers you’re tossing out have nothing to do with how many people experience psychotic breaks and what the various causes are. But you should do some reading and take a few deep breaths maybe? Anyone who reads in depth of any of the (now many) studies about pot and brains and pot and teenage brains could tell you that the majority of people who have psychotic breaks often try pot (and other substances) to try to feel better after the break has already begun. Pot does not CAUSE these breaks, it’s a side-effect of someone trying to make sense of their perceptions on reality changing. Pot is rarely the only thing these people will try in that circumstance and it’s not the demon you’re trying to make it out to be. I am sure you could also demonstrate that people who have had psychotic breaks have also consumed garlic or oregano but that’s not really enough evidence to assert that garlic or oregano causes psychotic breaks.

    I look forward to the day this can be freely studied and these questions will be answered. There’s a lot of scientific and medical information out there that can give you some facts if you are interested but I don’t think it’ll line up neatly with the assumptions you’ve already made. It’s hard to keep your critical thinking skills strong with a subject that society is so invested in demonizing but if you had any questions whatsoever about the dangers or toxins in cannabis, they should be put to rest when you realize that the REASON doctors prescribe it as a medication for patients who are in last stage care or have chronic health conditions is because it is one of the least toxic medications in the world that provides the kind of relief that it does. Doctors would absolutely not go out on that limb if cannabis was toxic–they have every legal excuse to offer a variety of medications but they choose pot at that point. They give pot to the most immuno-compromised patients they have. THINK about that.

  17. Worm on

    I have smoked for over 30 years and i have never witnessed anything to that extreme. People tend to know when they have smoked enough weed and have the sense to stop where as people that are drunk lose all sense. Everybody is made different and react differently to all sorts of things that does not give anybody the right to tell anybody what they can put in their own bodies. Paranoia happens with the first high because your not sure how you will react but the paranoia after the first high is from the fear of getting busted. Of course this is my experience and as i said people react different.

    Peace & Pot

  18. Anonymous on

    so if alcohol induces 40,000,000 psychotic episodes then we still get TEN MILLION PSYCHOTIC EPISODES thanks to pot alone Thats a lot of extra psychotic episodes.. and the numbers are even much higher if you lay this ratio over the template of the whole world

    I have seen pot overdoses thank you
    so has everybody else who tokes
    People smoking so much they go into couch lock. and can;t respond to their environment
    ir finish a complete thought
    or socially withdraw, either during the episode or in general into a steel shell of intoxication. TYou know its true

    And I have seen and been very inconvenienced by people eating too much pot and they sleep for days, unable to move. If there was a fire in the house they would likely have slept through it and burned to death,..we had to slap them awake every 12 hrs and force feed them water or they would have dehydrated in their zoned out mega naps.. thanks to pot
    It is to the enduring discredit of the stoner movement that they pretend pot is as safe as milk and nothing ever went wrong in all history, and and that nothing possibly can go wrong, How untrue that fantasy is. I know old stoners whos lungs are wrecked from smoking pot and their brains are noticeably very impaired..

    Just watch first time smokers- they get paranoid,, and its not very funny, They don;t fear arrest as much as various ” demons” from inside themselves such as self doubt, kooky conspiracy theories, delusions of persecution by friends and of course,, when your a stoner everybody is a Narc trying to get you. Also unresolved sexual problems on some people pop up at the worst possible time while high. We all know of stoned people getting all weepy creepy after blazing , esp newbs.

    Maybe pot didn’t invent these serious problems, but its easy to see that these problems aren’t switched on by normal circumstances other than becoming intoxicated

    Until the stoner community looks at the problems pot use actually delivers to society, then the Govt will just ignore any petition of request for softened dope laws.

    10,000,000 psychotic episodes, thanks to pot- and all you need is ONE to ruin your day, or party or social gathering.

    I hope modern thinking stoners in 2010 will get real and honstely admit that pot is not a miracle substance with no problems whatsoever attached. Denying this truth is what keeps us down. The truth will set you free, not a switching to a different strain of weed.

  19. BC_Budman on

    a) According to studies I’ve read, alcohol poses four times more likely to trigger the same psychotic break.

    b) You can’t overdose on cannabis

    Just more scare-mongering.