Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reefer madness

Pat Robertson recently supported legalizing weed. That might explain his many erratic statements over the years.


  1. Just three days ago (Wednesday) Pat Robertson was asked "What is the difference between Catholic and Christian?" and he again refused to make the essential distinctions clear. I like Pat, but I just wish he were more dogmatic and consistently Evangelical. As far as I know, he's never recanted signing the ECT document (though I don't think he signed the Manhattan Declaration).

    At 56 minutes and 50 seconds.


    Is cannabis so bad that it should remain illegal? Isn't alcohol more potentially harmful than cannabis? I don't know the facts. I'll have to do some research.

    And by "research", I don't mean (actively seeking and) smoking a doobie[g]. I've never tried it before. However, if I ever found myself in Canada (or Amsterdam etc.), I might consider trying it. That is, if after the research I've done shows it's not that bad.

    It's not a "high" priority on my Bucket List (pun intended).

  2. I'm more likely to try Kava (AKA "kava-kava") before marijuana. Am I now showing my true colors? What can I say (or sing...) "Kava-Kava Kava-Kava Kava Chameleon..."

    [I couldn't resist using the pun]


    Back to Pat Robertson. Here's a link that lists some of the things problematic with Pat Robertson (though, I don't know how accurate the article is. It's clearly biased against him). As a fellow Charismatic, I think he does more good than bad.

    Here's the link:

  3. Pat's comments suggesting that a husband should consider leaving his wife who suffered from Alzheimers were far more problematic than this.

    Yes, alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana: it impairs judgement and sometimes magnifies personality disorders. I certainly know people who are "mean drunks" and who become more irrational and unstable under the influence of alcohol. I can't say the same of marijuana.

    I'm not suggesting everyone abstain from alcohol totally and completely, just that the stigma of marijuana makes no sense if you compare it to the potential dangers of alcohol.

    Further, the criminalization of pot has only pushed the demand on to the violent thugs who run Mexico's drug cartels.

    I can see a need to keep drugs like cocaine, crystal meth and heroin illegal due to their highly addictive and potentially lethal effects, but the war against pot is not practical, and I don't see any moral imperative in it either considering the other available and legal substances that are far more toxic physically and psychologically.

  4. Unless you wrote that when you were high, in which case your judgment was impaired.

  5. James (my first name is James btw),

    Pat Robertson took back his statements about how a husband should be able to leave his Alzheimer ridden wife for another woman. Even when he said it, he admitted he wasn't an ethicist. Though, when he said it, I did comment that he should have known better than to say what he did.

  6. I'm glad Pat's coming out in favor of pot legalization, because whenever someone tells me "I'm in favor of legalizing pot", I get to ask them "So, you think Pat Robertson is right?" and force them to say yes. That is a gift that keeps on giving, believe me.

    I really don't care about whether or not it's legal, but I definitely think it should be a state-level issue. And I do think many of the reasons often given to legalize pot (Tax revenue!) are inane and badly flawed. But this shouldn't be federal.

  7. Whta's wrong with sucking smoke into our lungs?

    Pat. That's all I can say about Mr. Robinson: I mean Robertson.

    Here's to you Mr. Robertson, Jesus loves you more than you will know.

    Have a terrific Lord's Day!

  8. James said:

    "Yes, alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana: it impairs judgement and sometimes magnifies personality disorders. I certainly know people who are 'mean drunks' and who become more irrational and unstable under the influence of alcohol. I can't say the same of marijuana."

    1. I don't necessarily think alcohol and marijuana are commensurable. Or at least I think there needs to be a better argument.

    For one thing, lots of your words or terms need to be unpacked. What do you mean "dangerous"? In what way(s)? Why should "mean" or loss of control over oneself or one's inhibitions ("irrational and unstable") be more "dangerous" to a person than, say, testicular cancer?

    Marijuana also arguably "impairs judgement" and "sometimes magnifies personality disorders." To take one example, there's an increased risk of psychotic symptoms among those who are vulnerable due to a personal or family history of psychosis.

    And so on and so forth.

    2. With regard to alcohol, variables such as gender, body mass index, race/ethnicity (e.g. Asian flush reaction), how much one drinks (e.g. one or two standard drinks in a single sitting is generally harmless for most people, whereas binge drinking is not), how long one has been drinking (e.g. alcoholism is, of course, very bad), and many other variables should be factored into the equation.

    3. Now let's take marijuana. Marijuana can be "dangerous" too. But is it more or less "dangerous" than alcohol? I don't know. I'll just describe its effects on male fertility for starters.

    Marijuana is derived from cannabis and contains at least 20 active cannabinoids. The primary one is delta-9-tetrahydocannabinol (THC). THC has significant effects on male fertility. THC affects male fertility in three ways: the disruption of testicular cell function; sperm quality; and inhibiting acrosome reaction. Let's take each one of these in turn.

    a. THC acts as a partial agonist of cannabinoid (CB) receptors and it binds to CB1 receptors in the testis, affecting the functions of Leydig and Sertoli cells in how they regulate germ cell maturation to produce mature sperm. THC also reduces the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) by binding to CB1 receptors on the anterior pituitary gland and suppressing the release of gonadatrophin releasing hormone (GnRH). With lower LH levels, Leydig cells secrete less testosterone, and lower FSH and testosterone would decrease spermatogenesis in Sertoli cells.

    b. THC has also been found to have an effect on sperm quality, particularly sperm motility. THC causes a reduction in mitochondrial activity by altering the membrane potential of the mitochondria, which in turn reduces ATP synthesis. Since ATP is needed as chemical energy for the mechanical movement of sperm flagella, less ATP results in decreased energy supply so motility is impaired. In addition, THC places the sperm under cellular oxidative stress, making it more susceptible to damage by reactive oxygen species.

    c. And THC inhibits acrosome reaction in sperm. THC binds to CB receptors on sperm and inhibits second messenger pathways involving Ca2+ signaling, preventing calcium-gated ion channels from opening, and preventing the influx of Ca2+ as well as efflux of H+. Intracellular pH doesn't increase (since H+ remains) and so acrosome reaction can't be triggered. Further, reduced ATP production, as mentioned above, affects cell signaling pathways and membrane ion transport, which regulate acrosome reaction.

  9. 4. I've only talked about how marijuana affects male fertility. But it arguably affects other things.

    For example, marijuana use has been associated with acute anxiety, panic, and psychotic symptoms.

    Longer term use has been associated with attention and memory deficits.

    What's more, per (3a) THC would presumably effect a woman's menstrual cycle since GnRH, LH, and FSH are key players in the menstrual cycle.

    Smoking marijuana and its effects on our lungs is still debated.

    Chronic use has been linked with testicular cancer.

    Anyway, maybe I'll elaborate on each of these as well as other aspects of marijuana use another time if I can find the time.