Monthly Archives: June 2012

Worldwide Use of Cannabis

According to the United Nations, the following Top 12 list shows countries with the largest annual consumption of cannabis:

1) Palau: 24.2%

2) Northern Mariana Islands: 22.2%

3) Guam: 18.4%

4) Italy; New Zealand: 14.6%

6) Nigeria: 14.3%

7) USA: 14.1%

8) Canada: 12.7%

9) Saint Kitts and Nevis: 11.7%

10) Bermuda: 10.9%

11) Spain: 10.6%

12) Australia: 10.3%

I really thought the UK would feature in this list!

Anyway there’s also a great illustration below, courtesy of the UN’s World Drug Report 2012, that shows how cannabis use is spread on a global scale:

Cannabis use on a global scale

 

And this one below shows the trend changes in the use of cannabis globally:

Cannabis decrease in the UK

 

And look at the UK – there has, apparently, been a large decrease in cannabis use. However it still stands that cannabis is still far and away the most widely used illicit drug, with over 119 million users worldwide…that’s a lot of ‘erb being smoked and a lot of munchies being devoured.

And finally, according to the same UN report, they report that globally, illegal drugs kill around 200,000 people a year, compared with 2.3 million alcohol-related deaths and 5.1 million tobacco deaths.

I think I’ll stick with the illegal drugs thanks, have a nice weekend 🙂

Medical Facts from Across the Pond

I found this medical facts chart at http://medicalbillingandcodingcertification.net a bit earlier, it makes for interesting (but slightly scary) reading. Over-medicated America seems to be firmly in the clutches of the drug pharma companies. Obviously not all prescription drugs are bad for you, there has been some amazing medical breakthroughs over the years, but at what point does helping the patient get better turn into profiteering and prescribing unneeded medicine just to keep the drug company’s shareholders happy?

Anyway have a close read of the following chart and see if you agree with me that this is a very sad story. What’s even more un-nerving is that what happens in the US usually comes over the pond to the UK not long after, so will we be seeing over-prescribing of pointless drugs here? I actually think it’s already happening to a certain degree. I know a few GPs, they are my friends, and they all get visits on a regular basis by very glamourous reps from the large drug companies with the sole view of aggressively promoting and pushing their drugs, with cash incentives for the GP of course. Some have caved in to this cash carrot, while others stick dogedy by the hypocratic oath they took and only prescribe medicine when it is genuinely needed by the patient.

Overmedicated America
Created by: MedicalBillingandCodingCertification.net

All this just to line the pockets of greedy pharma execs and their equally greedy shareholders. It makes me sick when you think about the implications this has on the people who rely on their GP to give open, honest and impartial medical advice.

Good Blogs

A quick search of Google brings up a lot of weed-related blogs, mostly from the US. I’ve had a good trawl through the search results and there’s only a handful of decent UK blogs that I can find…my top 3 are below.

http://www.dope-smoker.co.uk/
http://www.ismokeherb.co.uk/
http://www.ukcia.org/

Can anyone recommend any other good UK weed blogs to have a nose at?

Cannabis vs Alcohol

As you’ve probably already gathered, I am an avid follower of cannabis and have been for a number of years now. When I was a lot younger and I embarked on my first few smokes with some friends I did do a bit of research into the effects this drug has on me.

When I say research, I mean actually asking people, or trying to find information on it in the local library. This was in the days before Tim Berners-Lee invented something called the Internet (yes, I am actually that old!). Anyway…that was all back in the 80s when I was a kid and cords and dodgy beards were in, and the closest thing to the Internet was the Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum.

Now all this research is online and is readily accessible at a click of the mouse button. Fantastic! And there is some compelling research out there surrounding cannabis. The evidence I’ve found all seems to point to the fact that, compared to a lot of other banned drugs, cannabis is a relatively innocuous drug that has more benefits associated with it than dangers.

There’s a whole heap of medical research, which a quick search of Google will show. Could it help Alzheimer sufferers? This research seems to think so. Does smoking pot impair your ability to drive? This article doesn’t think so.

But all this good stuff aside, what really bugs me is the Cannabis vs Alcohol debate. One substance is a class B controlled substance in the UK and most of the world, whereas the other drug is legal, cheap and readily available pretty much everywhere. However, the illegal drug has had zero fatalities due to overdose, while the other one causes 1000s of alcohol-related deaths every year. Check these articles out for more info, it makes for very interesting reading, and this one.

My research has led me to believe that cannabis is far less harmful than Alcohol, so illegal or not I shall continue to indulge in my pot taking pastime. I’m not hurting anyone apart from myself, I’ve got a great family, I’m more than capable of holding down a good job, and I’ve got a great group of friends. So although I respect the law of the land in general, I’m afraid they have got it very wrong with this…or should we be looking at the politicians for blame?

A Few QI Facts About Marijuana

So as this is my first post it seems fitting to list a few interesting facts about Marijuana (or cannabis, pot, reefer, ganja etc), which you may, or may not, know about.

  1. Marijuana has been around since prehistory. It rose significantly in popularity during the 60s and 70s with the advent of the hippy movement and has been chilling people out ever since!
  2. Today, Marijuana is America’s #1 cash crop, estimated to be a mind-blowing $38bn-a-year industry. To put that into perspective: the value of the corn crop in the US is $23.3 billion, and wheat is just $7.5 billion.
  3. The active ingredients in the plant which makes you high are called THC and CBD. It is a psychoactive drug which is made up of dried buds and leaves from the female plants.
  4. The effects of smoking Marijuana are almost immediate. The smoker can experience a faster heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes and a dry mouth and throat, commonly leading to a common problem in pot smokers called ‘the munchies‘.
  5. The first recorded use of Marijuana originates from China in 2727BC, where they used it for medicinal purposes. Check out this fun video out for a very potted history of pot.
  6. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
  7. George Washington and Tomas Jefferson both grew Marijuana on their plantations.

So there you go, crazy stats about a crazy plant. My philosophy is: if it grows out of the ground then how dangerous can it be? Free the weed and your mind will follow!