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Reading

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  • : Survivors - The Complete Series 1 [1975]

    Survivors - The Complete Series 1 [1975]
    An apocalyptic virus wipes out nearly every human on the planet. How will the Survivors cope with the end of civilisation? (*****)

  • : Blake's 7 - Series 3

    Blake's 7 - Series 3
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    Blake's 7 - Series 2
    When the BBC brought back the surprise sci-fi hit, they pumped in more money. And it shows. Kitsch, camp, quirky, intelligent, witty, daring and just bloody brilliant. The return of the Liberator and crew. Review (*****)

  • : Blake's 7 - Series 1 [1978]

    Blake's 7 - Series 1 [1978]
    The greatest sci-fi series ever is now on DVD. Forget the cheapness of the whole affair and just wallow in perfection. Blake's 7 should be the benchmark by which all TV sci-fi should be judged. Review (*****)

  • : The Prisoner [1967]

    The Prisoner [1967]
    Trapped in a village sealed off from the outside world, with no one he can trust. How will he escape? Large weather balloons. Penny farthing badges. The cult series that defined 60s cool in one set. (****)

  • : Indiana Jones Trilogy Box Set

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  • : Farscape: Complete Season 1 (Box Set) [1999]

    Farscape: Complete Season 1 (Box Set) [1999]
    Culty sci-fi series with Henson creatures. (****)

  • : Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI)

    Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI)
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  • : The Godfather Trilogy

    The Godfather Trilogy
    Coppola's mafia family saga. Two of the greatest films ever made. Epic. Violent. First class acting. De Niro. Brando. Pacino. Caan. Duvall. Keaton. Shire. A horse's head. (*****)

On the Wheel of Steel

« What's On Bush's iPod? | Main | Eco Power vs. Nuclear Power »

April 12, 2005

Comments

The Antagonist

Interestingly, this figure of 1 in 4 correlates exactly to the well documented number of people that are likely to experience some form of psychosis or mental disorder anyway.

The existence of the notion of a link between cannabis use and psychosis is not sufficient basis to assume that there exists any link at all.

Millennia of empirical and experiential evidence shows continued use of cannabis, and other psychoactive plants, throughout human evolution, and across every civilisation and culture known to man, without harm to self, or others.

Let us not forget the facts in favour of a myth for which scientific evidence does not exist, and let us use this as the basis to explore the manifold uses of nature's wondrous plants in a spirit of community and cooperation, rather than one of conflict and competition.

Ant.

Anything that defies my sense of reason....
The Cannabis Psychosis Myth Explosion #1
http://antagonise.blogspot.com/2005/06/cannabis-psychosis-myth-exploded.html
The Cannabis Psychosis Myth Explosion #2
http://antagonise.blogspot.com/2005/06/cannabis-psychosis-myth-explosion-2.html

Nervecentre

What an interesting comment...

I am no stranger to the substance or to mental illness so can't really comment either way as to whether there is a definitive link or not. I just trust that the doctors and scientists must be pretty sure of their findings.

Having said that, I remember reading somewhere that part of the current problem is the new strains of cannabis plant that have been bred that have a much more powerful concentration of psychoactive chemical and there may be an even greater risk associated with this.

Panorama had a special on cannabis the other night.

Cannabis: What Teenagers Need To Know

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4082196.stm

The Antagonist

The Panorama special was interesting, if only for a couple of reasons.

Firstly they cut open a human brain, demonstrated that practically the entire surface of the brain is covered with cannabinoid receptors, and then failed to ask the only logical question, "Why has billions of years of evolution led to the human brain being covered in receptors for cannabinoids?"

Secondly, the father of the boy allegedly affected by cannabis had severe trouble constructing sentences which leads me to believe that perhaps the family might have fallen victim to the 1 in 4 people that is likely to experience some form of mental disorder irrespective of cannabis use.

As for the dangers of new strains of 'Super Skunk', the shouting of 'cannabis psychosis' from every media outlet hasn't scared anyone for the last 50 years, so new myths must be created before we have a chance to put the old ones to bed.

Moving targets are far harder to hit. Unless, of course, you happen to be stoned.

Nervecentre

Heh!
:)
Indeed.
The moving targets comment is priceless!

I agree with you on the most obvious question regarding the presence of the receptors in the brain. It does seem like a bit of a no-brainer doesn't it, for them not to ask that question.

On the 1 in 4 figure regarding mental illness - I have a bit of knowledge on this.

http://www.lipmagazine.org/articles/feattalvi_141_p.html

When you hear from various sources the figure of depression being between 10-100 times more prevalent now than a century ago you sit up and take notice.

It's my belief that mental illness is mostly triggered by genes and the society we currently live in - the breakdown of the family unit, more isolated lives, poor work/life balance, bereavement, etc.

Regarding cannabis, they blow hot and cold in the media as this story proves, actually saying that cannabis might be good for people with mental health problems;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4606475.stm

The Antagonist

Without getting into the whole discussion about how 'psychosis' is defined, who defines it, and whose purpose that definition serves, modern life, urban living, and the almost entire removal of the human animal from anything that vaguely resembles its natural environment is what is causing dramatically increased rates of psychosis, and there exists evidence to support this notion.

If any link existed between cannabis and psychosis, the legends and customs of cannabis use, or any other psychoactive plant, throughout the ages would not have survived the Millennia of evolution that is beyond the bounds of acceptable discussion, and that those which seek to legislate against our natural right to use nature's plants choose to ignore.

We must look to how debate of such things is shaped. For example, the following link appears fairly innocuous at first glance:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/crime/drugs/magicmushrooms.shtml

Notice how the information about mushrooms, funghi which grow naturally all over the world and which have also been used by humans since time immemorial, is presented in the 'Crime Section' of the BBC's 'A-Z of Drugs'. We all know 'drugs are bad, period', and criminal, except for the ones the pharmaceutical industry sells us at every available opportunity - Headache? Tired? Can't Sleep? Can't stay awake? Too fat? Too thin? Cough? Cold? Ache? Pain? Anxious? Stressed? Depressed?, etc, and from which the government makes a nice tidy sum.

The implicit suggestion in the presentation of the information alone is that mushrooms are drugs and that it is a crime to consume them. In fact, the consumption of mushrooms, cannabis, or any psychoactive plant is just the human animal exercising its natural right to interact with its environment in whichever way it sees fit to ensure its continued survival, all of which goes back to the days when we foraged for food and communicated without words.

What we're left with is governments that endeavour to remove the right of its citizens to use natural substances, which we know have been used for thousands of years to expand consciousness, while simultaneously selling them nice taxable drugs like alcohol (stupefying and violent), caffeine (poor man's cocaine, nice go faster drug for the capitalist society), and nicotine (scream if you wanna go faster).

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that through payment of taxes and TV licenses, we are funding the mis-information campaigns. And, if we chose to stop paying taxes and TV licenses to stop all the misinformation, they would throw us in jail. Interesting, non?

"That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger."

If psychoactive plants can be consumed (they can), and do not kill us (they don't), then it follows that they only make us stronger (they do).

QED.

Nervecentre

You make a very convincing argument. I completely agree with what you say.

From my own experimentation when younger, I can say that the only problem I had with cannabis was the occasional period of intense paranoia I felt when in the company of others (usually lasting 5-10 minutes). I felt as though their laughter was actually a coded secretive in-joke at my expense and whenever this happened, the effect was somewhat unpleasant. (I've spoken to a significant number of others who have also experienced this unpleasant side effect too).

This is why I would not smoke cannabis now - and indeed have not done so for at least 5 years. But I would never try to put someone off trying it either. Just be honest about my own experiences.

Still, cannabis didn't seem to do this lady any harm, even if it wasn't an enjoyable experience for her;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/2935396.stm

It's interesting the article on magic mushrooms is listed under Crime on the BBC. I take your point. It's almost subliminal, isn't it.

The Antagonist

Why, thank you. I only present the facts such as they are. Whether or not they are convincing is based on your own sense of good judgement! ;)

I started a reply to your last message which rapidly became infinitely more involved than first anticipated and has turned into a labour of love. It will be born soon so watch this space: http://antagonise.blogspot.com/

It's only subliminal if you don't notice it.

Nervecentre

Having discovered your blog I shall endeavour to keep watching. I enjoy your writing and you always have something interesting to say.

Perhaps subliminal was the wrong word to use about that link. What I meant was the way the article has been written and presented sets up the supposition in the readers mind that the subject they are reading about(magic mushrooms)are on the wrong side of the track morally and therefore would be considered a crime to use, even though an exploratory trip into British woodlands at certain times of the year would allow free access to their own personal harvest without the authorities ever knowing.

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