Tag Archives: marijuana

Marijuana sent me to the ER

Selling and recreational use of marijuana was legalized in the state of Colorado in 2014. According to the report, which was published on Feb 24 in The New England Journal of Medicine, the quantity of emergency-room visits likely related to marijuana since its legalization has grew among out-of-staters, contrasted with residents of Colorado.

According to Dr. Howard Kim, an emergency medicine physician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, and an author of the report, the data is consistent with emergency room reports.

The researchers examined the rates of emergency-room visits in Colorado as a whole. According to the report the rate of marijuana-related visits to the emergency room for out-of-state residents increased from 112 per 10,000 visits in 2013 to 163 per 100,000 visits in 2014.

Snoop Dogg is high all the time and he seems fine. What's up with all these amateurs? Photo from personalhealthmedication.com
Snoop Dogg is high all the time and he seems fine. What’s up with all these amateurs? Photo from personalhealthmedication.com

The researchers did not investigate specifically how individuals were using marijuana; however, it’s possible that edible marijuana may have been a culprit behind the rise in ER visits.

According to Kim, individuals often underestimate the effects of edible marijuana because it has a delayed onset — instead of waiting to feel the effects, a person may eat more, thinking it hasn’t worked.

According to Kim, while Colorado has begun general public health initiatives to inform individuals of the potential side effects of marijuana, these messages may not reach individuals in other states.

The researchers focused on the significance of “point-of-sale” education — meaning when an individual buys marijuana in Colorado, the person or dispensary selling it should precisely clarify any health risks to the buyer.

The majority of individuals don’t have to worry about taking a trip to the emergency room due to marijuana use, according to Kim, but should still be aware of the side effects, and exercise moderation.

If you’re traveling to any of the states that recreational use of marijuana is legal — Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington — be informed about the side effects and don’t smoke in excess. Make sure you don’t spend your spring break, or other vacation, in the emergency room.

Legalize marijuana

Let’s talk about weed, shall we? Marijuana, Mary Jane, Green, the list of names goes on and on. Weed is the one drug that the most people want to become legal. Half of drug arrests in the United States can be attributed to marijuana. 88 percent of those arrests occur for simply having the drug. If weed were to be legal, petty arrests like those wouldn’t happen, preventing lives from being ruined for crimes that are not violent nor harmful to other people.

Weed is not simply a drug to create hallucinations or to be used for recreational purposes. Weed can also be used to treat chronic injuries such as back and knee pain. I, personally, know someone who uses weed to treat his back pain from years of playing sports. With that being said, he still has to purchase weed illegally, because there are no dispensaries in his area, in order to successfully feel relief from his pain. Marijuana can also help those with anxiety and depression. One of my friends has recurring anxiety and he tells me all the time how he would most likely be paralysed with anxiety all the time if it wasn’t for weed. I know how these examples might sound to those who to believe in the medical uses for marijuana, but it’s the truth for many people.

Bernie Sanders loves weed. Vote Sanders 2016. Gif from Tumblr
Bernie Sanders loves weed. Vote Sanders 2016. Gif from Tumblr

I don’t understand the stigma around marijuana. I understand the side effects it has and the dangers those can cause, but from what I’ve seen first hand, the pros outweigh the cons. If weed was given the same laws and rules as alcohol, I don’t see where the problem would be. Of course, like alcohol, there would be those who abuse its use, but with anything, no matter how it affects the brain, someone will abuse it; it’s inevitable, but those few people’s choices shouldn’t affect the larger population.

Maybe sometime in the future, weed will become legal and people will be able to see the positive effects it has to the mass population. Jails will stop being overcrowded and people’s lives won’t be ruined for minor offenses. I think only good will come of legalizing marijuana, but I guess we’ll have to see.

Marijuana on the brain

We all know that marijuana contains THC, a chemical, which, like pretty much any other chemical we ingest, affects the brain. Still, this organic drug is hailed to be one of the least harmful — now even being legalized throughout the country as more of the U.S. comes to embrace the medical benefits of smoking up. And while many of you readers might know about the various benefits of this (still illegal in VA) drug, are you aware of what it does to your brain?

Marijuana on the brain! Graphic from Grass City
Marijuana on the brain! Graphic from Grass City

True, it doesn’t do much without heavy use and the drug itself doesn’t include any addictive qualities alone. You would have to already be a long-term user, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to even become addicted. But even without true addiction, chronic marijuana use (defined as using at least 3 times a day for at least 4 years) comes with major consequences for your brain’s make-up.

The THC from marijuana gives users euphoric — or high — feeling as it enters the brain, activating the regions that govern pleasure responses, releasing dopamine, the chemical that makes you happy. That’s the change you probably hope for from marijuana — but what about the change you don’t want?

Chronic marijuana use may cause inflammation in the brain that leads to problems with coordination and learning. Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus. However, these symptoms seem to fade away after the brain is deprived of THC.

Unlike these symptoms, the build of your brain in more permanently changed with chronic use. A study tested through MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) the brains of 48 chronic adult users versus 62 non-users of marijuana. The study found that chronic users had a smaller volume of gray matter in a region called the orbitofrontal cortex, which is commonly associated with addiction. These users also showed greater connectivity —  a measure of how well information travels between different parts of the brain — between different parts of the brain, compared with nonusers.

Unfortunately, it seems that long-term changes to the brain from former chronic marijuana use are still unknown. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detection by current techniques once the use is halted. While this is disappointing for scientists, it seems like a get out of jail free card for chronic users across college towns everywhere! As long as one is using the THC heavy substance chances of impairment are high and it will take some time off the drug after abuse to regain full use of your faculties.

Weekly Time Wasters: Grandmas’ smoking marijuana and Saturday Night Live

Combining Cards Against Humanity and grandmas smoking weed sounds like a fun experiment.

 

 

It looks like Saturday Night Live finally tackled the executive order debacle.

 

 

Incase the first video got you too excited, this is to remind everyone that you still can’t smoke marijuana in New York or Washington, D.C.

 

 

BoJack Horseman wasn’t that good of a show, but it did have a pretty cool opening!

 

 

Marijuana and the media

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen several articles appearing on my Facebook news feed from my home town and its surrounding areas about marijuana growers being caught. But living near West Virginia, there are a lot of bigger issues than pot. Meth and prescription drugs are very often the reason crimes are committed.

As many of us young adults can agree, marijuana is pretty much harmless. Meth on the other hand, not so much. I can recall several stories where a meth user completely demolished their life while high. One story in particular, a mother in Texas got so high on meth she put her baby in a clothes washer. The worst thing a pot smoker has ever done is clean out his entire pantry in one sitting.

The comment sections on these articles prove that locals also believe these growers are completely harmless. Many comments are filled with sarcasm, with people “thanking” officers for taking these “dangerous” criminals off the streets.

marijuana-debate-phoenix-az-arizona
“As many of us young adults can agree, marijuana is pretty much harmless. Meth on the other hand, not so much…The worst thing a pot smoker has ever done is clean out his entire pantry in one sitting.”

The worst part of these articles are the photos that come with them. One photo shows an officer knelt down next to several very small marijuana plants, smiling proudly. Although by his precincts standards this may have been a very big bust, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve forgotten our area’s history. Several years ago, Richlands, Virginia (about 45 minutes from my home town) was the Oxycontin capital of the world. Although the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, there are still a lot of other drugs that are being overlooked.

Not only do the officers look silly in this situation, but the reporters are making me question my choice of major. One reported stated that officers had found $15 million worth of marijuana. The officers were praised for collecting some plants up to 15 feet in height. As anyone who has done very basic research on marijuana would know, any marijuana plant that is growing that tall is going to be a male sativa plant. Male plants are useful for fertilizing the females, but that’s it. They have little street value because they’re hemp. They’re used to make rope and comfy fabric.

Also, how did these officers calculate the worth of these plants?  I noticed there is another number–$4 million in street value. So where did the first number come from? Media personnel need to take the time to do the extra research and inform the public of the technicalities before reporting these things.

I may be beating a dead horse here, but I will go ahead and say this: it’s time we legalize marijuana. With so many hardcore drugs out there that are actually taking lives, why are we wasting so much time and money on drug that is virtually non-addictive and as far as research can tell, causes little to no bodily harm? I’m much more worried about drugs like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and even alcohol which is more addictive and harmful. Alcohol inhibits decision making and even impulse control, while THC simply blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter so that dopamine is released into the brain.

Although marijuana can affect decision making and awareness, how often do we hear about people getting in severe enough accidents  to kill someone while stoned? Now compare that to the amount of drunk driving accidents that take lives every day. It’s time we use our common sense. If alcohol is legal, why isn’t marijuana?

 

Cookies on campus: an RU collaboration

Every spring, little girls from all over the country gather at grocery stores and mall parking lots in order to do one thing: sell Girl Scout cookies. Ever since the 1920s, Girl Scouts have been making time on the weekends to venture out with their troops and sell baked goods. These cookies are scrumptious, and supporting the Girl Scouts helps young girls reach goals and come out of their shells. One way for them to increase opportunities and sales is to set up shop on Radford University’s campus. Continue reading Cookies on campus: an RU collaboration

January Outrage-o-meter: Richard Sherman and Chris Christie stir the pot

From Duck Dynasty to Chick-Fil-A, being offended has become a national pastime. It’s much easier to shut our eyes and plug our ears than it is to face the problems being brought up. So I present to you the first part of Whim’s 2014 outrage timeline where we’ll document every event that caused someone, somewhere, to overreact and do an analysis of who overreacted, and whether it was justifiable.
Continue reading January Outrage-o-meter: Richard Sherman and Chris Christie stir the pot

From Our Perspective: Responsible Mary Jane

A lot of people have a lot to say on Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, the new state amendments passed in Colorado and Washington this past election which redefined their policies on recreational and medicinal marijuana.

The proponents of the amendment praise it as being the first step to legalization, and they do have some facts to back them up. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Responsible Mary Jane