Explainer video looks at the three most common arguments against legalizing weed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/11/explainer-video-looks-at-the-t.html


I lived in a legal area briefly and it was really nice.

Now I’m in an illegal area I have to rely on Xanax to manage my anxiety - I often have rebound anxiety the next day. I can’t take it too many days in a row or risk addiction. I can’t do anything productive if I take it. It often fucks my sleep schedule, making it harder to sleep the next day.

Conversely with weed, I’d smoke a bowl of a CBD rich strain, relax for a few hours, go to bed. Would be fine next morning, could go off to gym or do some work. Really helped “reset” when having a bad days/weeks and I really miss it.

Unfortunately due to the area I’m in not being decriminalized, I can’t risk seeking it out - I’d lose my job etc and you never know who will drug test.


I was going to make a thread on the BBS taking bets on how soon this would be posted on BB.

Any kind soul mind transcribing it in the comments? Interested but can’t watch right now.

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I think the video fell down on presenting the facts when it didn’t mention that while alcohol & tobacco kills hundreds of thousands annually, cannabis kills no one.

(Of course, marijuana can kill someone. If a bale of it falls off a tall building & hits you, it’ll kill you. )


very informative. thanks for sharing this!

Trump supports legalizing it? Hmmmmmm.

I can see how it might mellow out some of his detractors, but apart from that I don’t see the upside for him. Unless he’s been secretly investing in the industry.

“Mueller? Mueller?”

I live in Colorado and went to a recreational dispensary in Manitou Springs for the first time the weekend before last. It was a very interesting experience. They have their shit dialed in; no half-assing. It was almost military in its precision.

And they were all quite mellow, except for one guy. He was a bit of a dick.

I was tempted to say, “Chilllll, Winston,” but I held back because of how things ended up for Winston.

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Can we stop calling it by its slave name? Cannabis. The name is Cannabis.
Harry Anslinger (Christ, what an asshole!) google it.

Smoking it is not good for your lungs, but with the rise of various vaping and non-combusting alternatives like edibles and salves, cannabis is getting safer by the minute while tobacco and alcohol kill and kill and kill. Smoke some weed and get behind the wheel and you can die, but generally the guy who smoked that spliff is the one in the slow lane doing 20 miles per hour under the speed limit and driving super duper safe and cautious. ymmv

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Except, the question isn’t “are there potential downsides to smoking weed?”. Of course there are. The question is “which is worse: the reality of legal marijuana or the reality of prohibition?”. If you don’t frame it that way, you’ll never sway the people who implicitly believe that prohibition can be 100% effective and harmless. For those people, any downside to marijuana – even if it’s just increased tardiness – justifies banning it.

The problem with the legal-weed lobby is that it’s extremely reluctant to frame the issue like that. The reason being, as soon as you start talking that way, you will quickly be drawn into admitting that the same goes for heroin, PCP or crystal meth. In fact, in terms of harm reduction, the case for legalising heroin is arguably stronger than that for legalising weed.

I get that weed legalisation is seen as “winnable”, and advocates believe it’s worth endorsing the overall prohibition regime if it helps achieve that “win”. But I wonder if that compromise is at all smart. To my mind, when the populace is open to legalising weed, that is the time to say “let’s end the War on Drugs”, not “let’s extend this mass-murder program for another generation but make it fractionally more convenient for white folks to get high”.


Anyone making a Lock Stock… or Snatch reference gets an auto-like.


Hah! Noted!

I had not heard that marijuana use increases the likelihood of gum disease. I’m curious if that’s correlated with smoking (because smoking anything increases oral diseases), or any form of the product (such as capsules, edibles, etc.)

My guess would be a combination of dry mouth (which absolutely increases tooth decay and gum disease), plus sleepiness (i.e., not wanting to brush your teeth before having a nap) is the culprit. I started reading articles about it, and everything seems to point toward neglect as the leading cause ~ which is not unique to marijuana use, and could be implicated in a lot of other behaviors.

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IIRC, the video did show that alcohol and smoking kill millions each year. At that point, I was waiting for it to mention that you cannot die from overdosing on cannabis. But it didn’t, since that’s a whole turn of conversation in itself.

I think they said there needs to be more research. Something that is hard to gauge when you don’t have good data. Yes you can ingest enough alcohol to kill you, but smoking usually takes a long time to kill you. If you smoke weed everyday, I am willing to bet there is going to be SOME detrimental effect to your health as you are still breathing in SMOKE into your LUNGS. Though it is probably no worse than smoking tobacco, and probably less dangerous as you do it less often.

Edibles or other methods maybe more safe, though again, long term heavy use might damage the liver or kidneys. I mean pretty much anything will kill you if you take enough of it over time, including water.

So while I would agree that weed is as safe or more safe than alcohol or tobacco in most cases, to say it is 100% safe one can’t say with certainty either.


InteraXon, a company that makes a “brain sensing headband” that promotes meditation as an addiction rehabilitation aid, lists both Patrick Kennedy and his wife Amy Kennedy

And Steve Mann!

Bleh. These folks generally make excellent explainers but they really fail with this one by smearing cannabis as some inherently dangerous substance rather than, in the words of a DEA judge, “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known,” that is “safer than many foods we commonly consume.” Kurzgesagt trots out one debunked (and highly politicized) theory after another without mentioning the millions of people worldwide who are actively helped by this incredible plant. Literally hundreds of mental and physical conditions can be ameliorated by cannabis, a substance with a perfect safety record for at least 5000 years. Cannabis seems to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antitumor, and many other properties. Its neuroprotective properties show promise in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and its well-known tendency to stimulate appetite is a miracle for the millions of people worldwide with chronic diseases (and pharmaceutical regimes) that rob them of their will to eat.

Furthermore, a large percentage of users utilize cannabis to cope with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and a variety of other mental conditions. The late activist Dennis Peron used to say, “All use is medicinal,” and while that may be an exaggeration it’s certainly the case that many “recreational” users are experiencing benefits beyond mere fun.

That said, cannabis use can be a lot of fun, too. It generally makes people more mellow and self-reflective, a benefit for individuals and society. The same definitely can not be said for alcohol, which can sometimes do those things but is also linked to 60% of violent crime, 30-40% of all fatal traffic accidents, plus about 88,000 deaths annually just from the toxic effects of the drug itself.


Focusing on overdose deaths is shortsighted. Alcohol causes about 2200 overdose deaths per year in the USA, but the total number of deaths caused by alcohol (including cirrhosis and impaired driving) is around 80,000.

I don’t know of any deaths from nicotine overdose from smoking cigarettes, but I would be a fool to say that nobody has died from smoking cigarettes.

There is no question that people die due to marijuana impairment; the only question is how many.

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I am not sure I focused on overdose deaths per se, it’s just a point in weeds camp that it doesn’t seem like one can OD on it.

I agree impairment from weed or booze can cause death.

The long term effects of heavy usage of weed isn’t fully known. It might not be that bad. I can’t imagine it being much worse than cigarettes or booze long term. And personally I am ok with people ingesting things that are slowly killing them. We are all slowly dying. I may live longer not eating this ice cream, but I am gonna eat this ice cream.

Kurzgesagt lost me with that creepy explainer about how we should want to live forever.

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