To think that weed is NOT a soft drug?

(58 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Mon 28-Jan-13 23:53:01

One of my lovely old friends has got back in tough. He's a decent guy and we are going out for a drink but he won't be drinking booze apparently because he's into weed.

I don't know why people get this notion that weed is not as dangerous as alchohol. Ok; alchohol has it's downsides but weed causes psychosis and paranoia, not to mention lethargy. Especially now we have genetically engineered skunk weed. I have smoked weed in the past and it made me go completely loopy and paranoid....but it was seen as 'cool'. I really like this guy but I am going to have to point out that is he's a proper caner we will have to just be friends.

So whos with me on this one; weed IS more dangerous than booze no?

ElliesWellies Tue 29-Jan-13 00:07:04

Everything in moderation? I haven't read extensively on the subject, but from what I have read, I gather that the odd joint has never done anyone any harm? Though please correct me if I'm wrong.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:11:20

alchohol has it's downsides but weed causes psychosis and paranoia, not to mention lethargy

You mean it can cause those things...just as alcohol can.

Weed can't give you cirrhosis of the liver like alcohol can...and alcohol can't give you lung cancer like weed can.

It's all swings and roundabouts imo and really depends on what (if anything) the person is predisposed to.

SirBoobAlot Tue 29-Jan-13 00:12:20

Actually everything I have read is to the contrary of your last statement. It's quite interesting to look into. This was linked to recently on a page I follow for discussion.

Have smoked weed a few times to see if it helped with my pain levels. It did, but isn't something I would like to get in to doing regularly, as just like any drug you build up an immunity.

mummymeister Tue 29-Jan-13 00:13:45

they are both drugs in my book and they both have their upsides and their downsides. what is worse depends on your personal experience and personal point of view so both of you are right and neither of you are right.

A&Es aren't packed at the weekends with people smoking weed and getting into fights/falling over.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 29-Jan-13 00:16:01

It's difficult to compare, because alcohol is much more widely accessible.

But I agree, weed can be very very damaging. It's not the harmless substance that I once believed it to be. I used to be very firmly in the 'legalise it' camp. Now I am very firmly against its legalisation. I've seen the damage it can do, and it's not pretty.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:17:13

so both of you are right and neither of you are right

What a wonderful phrase...and one I'm totally going to start using when my DS's start arguing. It's often the case that they are both right and yet neither of them are! grin

Stonefield Tue 29-Jan-13 00:18:32

I haven't smoked weed for years but I like a drink as much as the next person but all things in moderation as they say. I honestly think that weed is no worse than alcohol. Nicotine is more damaging than cannabis and I'm certain alcohol wrecks more lives.
What is your issue with weed?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 29-Jan-13 00:18:34

Stronger weed can cause serious mental health issues in teenagers. I'm not convinced modern skunk is "genetically engineered" but it has been bred, and cross-bred, to have very high levels of THC. Specialist growers are working to resolve this issue, there's another chemical, the name of which I forget, which needs to be balanced with THC to prevent the MH problems.

However, skunk is not the only variety of weed available in Britain, and ime isn't actually all that common as a commercially-grown product, because it smells so strong and is therefore harder to hide when it's growing.

Have a look here to see the range available.

(NB, bizarrely, it is perfectly legal to buy/sell/own cannabis seeds and all the lights etc to grow them. It's just illegal to actually put them all together and let Nature take it's course.)

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:18:55

I've seen the damage alcohol can do (I'm sure we all have) and that's not pretty either.

Don't get me wrong, I'm neither for nor against weed but I don't think it has an adverse effect on everyone who smokes it.

The same as alcohol doesn't have an adverse effect on everyone who drinks it.

mummymeister Tue 29-Jan-13 00:20:05

thanks worra but not sure your kids will agree smile

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 00:20:36

Skunk is potentially really quite dangerous / damaging if misused, I think. Weed and hash? Possibly but to a much lesser extent.

I think you mean he smokes a lot of skunk.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:22:14

mummymeister they agree on nothing at the moment anyway grin

They've both had heavy colds for the last couple of days and have been a pair of right grumpy buggers!

flowersfortea Tue 29-Jan-13 00:25:02

You are not being unreasonable. you can't judge people for choosing to smoke weed any more than if they smoke cigarettes, or eat ten bags of crisps a day, but I disagree with those who say a little now and again is ok because althoughfor some it might seem to be fine (not everyone who smokes dies of lung cancer or copd) there is overwhelming evidence for many adverse effects ranging from the drug induced psychosis, the social effects of using/obtaining/possessing illegal amounts, to the cardiovascular risks of smoking joints full of tar and goodness knows what else. And weed, quite literally, stinks too, really pungent in my opinion!

flowersfortea Tue 29-Jan-13 00:29:15

Sorry posted too soon... The problem is, none of us know how we will each be affected by something, and in my professional experience have worked with people who are sectioned due to cannabis (or khat, or alcohol, our other drugs) inducing psychosis both from sporadic and from prolonged use.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:29:44

flowers you said yourself although for some it might seem to be fine.

And honestly, for some it actually is fine.

I could list the problems alcohol causes people for whom drinking is not fine...and the list would no doubt be as long.

Lostaway Tue 29-Jan-13 00:37:17

I wouldn't say weed is more dangerous than alcohol. It all depends on how much you do of it.

I've smoked weed - when I was young and stupid. But it never did anything to me, just relaxed me at the time.

Whereas my friend used to drink a ridiculous amount. She was so drunk she slipped and knocked herself out cold on the pavement and had to be rushed to hospital.

maddening Tue 29-Jan-13 00:38:23

I think booze is worse than alcohol.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 00:41:11

Also, I've yet to see a group of pot heads smash up a town centre/night club/pub just because someone bumped into them.

Softlysoftly Tue 29-Jan-13 00:51:15

Weed and alcohol cause equal harm to the individual if abused but alcohol is more damaging to others (fighting, sexual abuse, criminal damageetc). I would say yabu weed is the lesser of the two evils.

Whether that would change if more widely available in not sure.

From what I know, if you are vulnerable to things like mental health disorders then weed will make it far far worse. Problem is, the people I know who suffer from it, didn't know they were vulnerable to it until after they'd smoked the weed. So it strikes me to be a bit like Russian Roulette. The stakes are far too high IMO.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 29-Jan-13 01:33:20

Some mental health issues are made worse by weed. Some aren't; an friend of mine who has suffered from anorexia for decades uses it to stimulate her appetite when she's ill.

That's interesting, can see how that works.

I know I wouldn't risk it, and am terrified of DS risking it in the future (lots of mental health issues in both sides of the family)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 29-Jan-13 01:39:45

The highest risk seems to be to teenage boys, in the early teen years, who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia in particular. No idea why that is, but it's while their brains are still developing. The risk to full adults seems smaller, if any at all.

Charlezee Tue 29-Jan-13 01:41:29

Weed doesn't quite compare to alcohol when it comes to vandalism, starting fights, fuelling domestic abuse.

Weed can cause mental health problems or make existing ones worse- so can alcohol.

DoItToJulia Tue 29-Jan-13 01:44:29

Skunk should be a class a drug. Herbal weed and natural resin hash should stay as they are.

Skunk stinks btw, not so much the latter two.

No one has ever had weed poisoning/overdose, but you can get alcohol poisoning- and die from it.

Weed isn't safe as such but it isn't comparible to alcohol. And the distinctin between types of weed is actually quite important. Skunk is like pure alcohol whereas true weed and resin is like a Sauvignon blanc.

Give the guy a chance....he might be well chilled, innit grin

EllieArroway Tue 29-Jan-13 07:38:57

Your post is bollocks from start to finish.

Alcohol is considerably more dangerous than weed. Yes, weed can cause mental difficulties but this is very rare, in spite of what the Daily Mail would have us believe.

Know how many people have died from marijuana overdose? Not one. Ever. Alcohol? Millions.

Alcohol is linked to certain cancers. Marijuana none.

Alcohol can cause brain damage. Marijuana does not.

Alcohol is physically addictive. Marijuana is not.

Alcohol can cause aggressive behaviour. Marijuana does not.

Nothing is without risk. About 1000 people a year die from taking aspirin - it's actually deadlier than marijuana, and no one has ever suggested banning it.

I don't drink or smoke weed, but I have a 16 year old son and, though I will never encourage him to do anything, I would secretly far rather he sat in his bedroom getting stoned from time to time than out on the streets getting tanked up on Special Brew.

It's insane that weed is still illegal in this country - and that's down to misinformation and ignorance.

Mayanbob Tue 29-Jan-13 08:00:55

My two cents. I work in a court. Alcohol is far more 'dangerous' than weed- based upon injuries/ crimes caused due to offender being under the influence of said drug at the time. In my time there, no one has glassed someone in the face because they were stoned off their tits. Similarly no-one I've met has died from withdrawing from cannabis whereas they have with alcohol.

On the other hand, young chronic cannabis users do tend to lose their spark for life and staying at home, getting stoned, perhaps stealing to fund that habit, or dealing themselves (cannabis or worse) to fund it becomes all they can think of. Also, weed, skunk, whatever you call it is illegal. If you buy from a dealer then the chances are it was grown in this country in a cannabis factory by a Vietnamese person who was people trafficked here, often not being able to contact their families, and their best hope of returning home is when they get arrested, sentenced to a libg term if custody and deported- being deported back to Vietnam on drugs charges is far from a great option too.

Which is worse? It's a tough one. I'd much rather be stuck in a roomful of stoners than people pissed out their heads. But on the 'everything in moderation' front, 2 pints of beer isn't illegal. One joint of weed is ... And on the mental health front, cannabis can pose a problem for young people susceptible to mh problems, but people rarely get stoned and try to kill themselves- whereas getting drunk and doing it is almost every case sad

Essay and fence sitting done, smile

MrsKeithRichards Tue 29-Jan-13 08:04:34

Drinking or smoking weed on a daily basis is never going to be good.

Sneepy Tue 29-Jan-13 08:06:43

Well, without getting into the weed v booze debate, I find people who are constantly stoned to be incredibly annoying. I wouldn't start a relationship with someone who was any more than I'd start one with someone who was pissed all the time.

MajesticWhine Tue 29-Jan-13 08:14:54

I work in mental health and with people with drug and alcohol problems. I would say weed is no more dangerous than booze. They are both as bad as each other from a mental health point of view. From a social point of view, people smoking weed are usually tedious.

Paiviaso Tue 29-Jan-13 09:47:22

YABU. Alcohol is very dangerous.

Op I react to weed as you do - feel very paranoid, uncomfortable, and out of it for days afterward. It's not a nice feeling so I don't do it. I think it's quite clear that not everyone has this type of reaction though - some people are happy as larry on it. Our experience is not everyone elses!

MrsKeithRichards Tue 29-Jan-13 11:11:10

And weed isn't without its own set of undesirable qualities. I've been a smoker I . the past, for me it came hand in hand with depressive episodes and anxiety. In my stoned stupor it took me a while to realise the weed was causing it, not helping.

Dh continued to smoke (this was pre dc) and I realised how draining a drug it is. He would work every day, but got caned every night, it was boring.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 11:17:06

Weed may have changed, but it was not like this in my uni days. I smoked a bit. Not regularly. I knew 10's of people who did. 1 later had anxiety and depression issues. I don't think that was particularly the weed. I think that was her nature anyway.
All this, 'it leads to depression and anxiety'. Well it may. in some. but not all. 1/40 people I know it did. 39/40 it did not.
has weed changed so much that these days it is automatically guaranteed to make you depressed and anxious? Every single person?

quesadilla Tue 29-Jan-13 11:25:55

Worra spot on... yes there are risks from weed, including severe paranoia and psychosis which are not to be underestimated. And the tendency of hippy types to paint it as totally benign was naive.

But the reality that those mental side-effects don't happen to most people. A large number of people smoke weed without any major side effects for years (I and many of my mates did). I know only one person who has ever had major psychological side effects.

Contrast this with alcohol: a much, much larger number of people will suffer damage to their livers/poor relations with family/diminished capacity at work due to alcohol. And that's before you get to alcohol-related violence/car accidents etc.

Yes, weed isn't without risk. And I like a drink as much as the next person. But I'd rather my kid smoked weed than drank heavily every night.

superstarheartbreaker Tue 29-Jan-13 20:45:34

Hi all. There just seems to be this conspiracy that alchohol is legal but it creates social problems and violence (true) but weed is illegal because it promotes peace and harmony and the goverment don't want that.....is it just me or is that weed induced paranoia? ! grin

I agree that many weed smokers appear chilled...to the point of not being able to get up but really there are dangers aswell. Just as everyone reacts differently to alchohol so everyone reacts differently to weed.

The bottom line for me is that weed is illegal whereas alchohol is not and I don't want to get myself or dd involved in any illegal activities.

superstarheartbreaker Tue 29-Jan-13 20:51:38

To quote Ellie:

Acohol is linked to certain cancers. Marijuana none. (What about lung cancer through smoking spliffs...ok baccy is involved but still?)

Alcohol can cause brain damage. Marijuana does not.(What about paranoia and drug induced psychosis? Wedd DOES change the brain.)

Alcohol is physically addictive. Marijuana is not. (I don't believe this for a second...why do stoners get so stoned ALL THE TIME? Baccy again or the high gets them hooked?)

Alcohol can cause aggressive behaviour. Marijuana does not. (I've known some very aggressive types who have been into weed)

Meh....weed sucks imo and alchohol is very dodgy but I like the high off booze better.

BridgetBidet Tue 29-Jan-13 20:51:41

My husband sometimes smokes weed and I don't, I don't like what it does to him. I can tell when he's had a spliff hours later, and even over the next few days because he can't complete a simple shopping list and gets muddled doing easy tasks and is more irritable. He also becomes incredibly boring when he's stoned.

Having said that my old boss used to be an alcoholic but just smokes weed now and in his case weed is infinitely the preferable one of the two because he was awful when he'd had drink. Maybe your mate is an ex drinker too?

whateveritakes Tue 29-Jan-13 21:06:59

Two wrongs don't make a right. I'd hate to see what would happen if weed became legal. Stupid cafes, supermarkets offering 2 for 1 deals and "nice tasting" weed for the "younger market". The country would go to the dogs in a nano second.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 29-Jan-13 21:34:32

Alcohol can cause psychosis as well as causing people to behave violently/become unable to do simple things like negotiate stairs.

People don't often end up homeless because of a weed smoking habit...many alcoholics do.

I don't smoke weed,I do drink. I don't get on my high horse about people who smoke weed though.

You're being a hypocrite OP.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:08:23

Two wrongs don't make a right. I'd hate to see what would happen if weed became legal. Stupid cafes, supermarkets offering 2 for 1 deals and "nice tasting" weed for the "younger market". The country would go to the dogs in a nano second.

I live in a country where it is legalised (to cut a long story short) and controlled. That is absolutely not how it goes.

Because you go to a shop to buy it under age use is much less common, a social problem than it is in the UK and the use over the population seems to less pervasive than it was my experience in the UK. It's also possible to easily buy weed or hash rather than skunk - from what I've hear it;s hard to get hold of anything that isn't skunk in the UK.

Buying from shops avoids the need to come into dodgy geezers who (again IME) are more often than not happy to sell / track down the odd e / acid tab / whatever drug too.

I'd rather my children lived in this society than the one I grew up in.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:12:36

And the very idea of buying drugs in supermarkets!! That'd be fab hmm

As it goes that's not the case, they ovoid the unnecessarily public sale of intoxicating stuff - any alcohol stronger than about 15% (so port ok, vodka not) can't be bought in a supermarket has to bought in a 'alcohol shop'.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:15:00

I don't think the income from tax and licenses harms the economy much either. Definitely better than a massive, unregulated black market where millions change undetected and doing nothing much to boost the economy.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:15:49

millions of pounds change hands undetected

I'll get me coat.

Alcohol is your drug of choice, weed is his. You don't need to justify it, it's a choice. Just because alcohol is legal, doesn't make it good.

I have worked in addictions, shelters and rehabs for 20 years. You are wrong, alcohol is more damaging.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:20:54

Oh, sorry, one last thing.

Because marijuana isn't illegal those suffering problems because of (mis)use or who use it to 'self medicate' have no need to hide the fact from medial folk. Clearly that helps. People who need help are free to seek it with no fear.

notMarlene Tue 29-Jan-13 23:25:26

The bottom line for me is that weed is illegal whereas alchohol is not and I don't want to get myself or dd involved in any illegal activities

Quite right. Of course.

And if it was legal and controlled? DP prefers beer, I like wine. We both enjoy a G&T. No drama.

"The highest risk seems to be to teenage boys, in the early teen years, who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia in particular. No idea why that is, but it's while their brains are still developing."

That does concern me, fucking around with something that could potentially cause schizophrenia? <shudders> One of my friends at school developed it, it's a terrifying illness.

On an utterly personal note I could never date a weed smoker as the smell makes me gag.

"Because you go to a shop to buy it under age use is much less common"

Being able to buy stuff in shops over here unfortunately does nothing to discourage underage use. We've got an odd culture here really.

notMarlene Wed 30-Jan-13 00:07:19

I know. The UK culture really is rather unwell sad

Probably should have mentioned that registration and ID are required in said shops. But, yeah, that'd probably be no obstacle in the UK.

It makes me sad that I don't want to bring my children up in my own country, but seriously I'd hate to move back while they're growing up. I didn't plan to have them abroad but TBH I'm very thankful I / they ended up here.

WorraLiberty Wed 30-Jan-13 00:09:15

That does concern me, fucking around with something that could potentially cause schizophrenia? <shudders> One of my friends at school developed it, it's a terrifying illness.

Alcohol abuse can also cause schizophrenia.

In fact, anything that alters the mind can bring it on especially if that person has a predisposition to it...they may not know that until it's too late.

Boomerwang Wed 30-Jan-13 00:11:29

The only thing that bothers me is that it's still an illegal substance and I have a fear of being associated with criminal activity (please don't quote 'taping corrie off the tv' at me). However, I think it should be brought in line with other legal but harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco.

If a friend of mine overdid the alcohol I'd step back from the friendship in the same way as if it were someone who was always stoned.

WorraLiberty Wed 30-Jan-13 00:11:44

notMarlene which country are you living in?

Very true Worra

I'm not particularly keen on alcohol either

notMarlene Wed 30-Jan-13 00:18:47

The Netherlands. Why?

WorraLiberty Wed 30-Jan-13 00:22:46

I don't know, why not?

You brought it up lol

notMarlene Wed 30-Jan-13 00:36:38

grin indeed.

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