May 2008

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Sure science's mind can be changed. But the evidence must be pretty persuasive and compelling. And most likely it will have to take at least 4-5 large scale, long range, studies to show the effects and also to show where the other studies were going wrong.

So, to answer your question, yes, the evidence can change scientist's minds, but it will take pretty persuasive evidence and a LOT of time.

Robert Hamilton

If you just disregard the point of whether or not the stuff is good or bad for you, and consider all of the benefits of legalizing it 1) taxes on the dope could pay off the national debt 2) it would instantly free up all of the public resources (police, courts, jails, etc.) being wasted on this losing and unwinnable "war" 3) pot dealers would have to go out of business overnight or switch to selling rocks and blow. 4) The ensuing turf wars would result in the deaths of people we really want dead anyway. I don't touch the stuff BTW. Dope is for dopes.


Governments are very poor at “proving” anything. Our lungs were not well designed to inhale smoke or burning gasses. Cavemen sucked in a lot of fumes huddling around their fires and this had to contribute to their short life span. The brain and heart are complicated, sensitive and delicate instruments and subjecting them to toxic gas is like playing Russian roulette. Drunks and dope heads are sadly mistaken if they say they can quit without help.


I'd say this has a lot to do with social norms. Marijuana is already seen as bad and the government would never get away with legalising it, unless there was some serious proof that it had nothing bad to it.

The crazy part is the incredible damage alcohol does, not just to your body but to society. The government would never ban that though, it'd be like trying to ban fresh water!

I wonder what is better for you, marijuana or alcohol?


hilarious find

D. Mented

I concur with the posts that say it can *trigger* schizophrenia if you have the gene for it.
Usually you would know because there would be some instabilities in quite a few family members, and one or two full-blown cases.
If that sounds like your family - don't self-medicate, and do take vitamin B supplements.(thought not by the truckload)
D. Mented

D. Mented

THIS government? Give a damn about people's health and well-being?
Maybe on Bizarro-world. Not here.
...Here, a lot of companies are using prison labor to get that "made in America" sticker for 20 cents an hour. They don't want that windfall to go away, so they lobby to keep recreational drugs illegal - thus stuffing the prisons to the bursting point with generally non-violent inmates who make good prison laborers.
Oh how I wish it weren't so.
To legalise marijuana, we'd have to come at it sideways; campaign to give the taxpayers a break by charging a fair market wage for prison labor. Pay the inmates the same 20 cents, and use the rest to pay part of their own food, utilities, etc. There would still be companies that would hire prison labor because there's low absenteeism, but they would not have as much incentive to lobby for bigger prison populations. After that, it might just be possible to repeal the prohibition. Same reasons as the last one; we're not stopping anyone from using, and we're putting money and power in the hands of the illegal suppliers.
...This message brought to you by a non-user, if you were wondering. I'm an impartial observer, and I think lots of people are harmed by using drugs. I just don't think keeping recreational drugs illegal is helping anyone.
D. Mented


Scott, you are forgetting a MAJOR study from England a few months ago where it is stated that Mary Jane is potentially devasting to people that use it and even 'one joint' can lead to mental problems like depression etc was all over the news a few months ago...

As one who sadly used this crap for many years, I would NEVER recommend it....I have often wondered if it lead to my own clinical depression long before this study came out of England???


At my previous company,my coworker was growning them at his garden and eating them ad a salad. He seemed to be very healthy,thus,marijuana is good for helth.


At my previous company,my coworker was growning them at his garden and eating them ad a salad. He seemed to be very healthy,thus,marijuana is good for helth.


Maybe marijuana is good for health,cuz my coworker is eating them every day,and he seems to be really healthy.


I think it would be tough to go against the evidence forever if the evidence were truly incontrovertible (huge randomized trials going on for decades), especially if the cancers cured were otherwise incurable. Someone would need to do the trials in a very professional way and take them to the FDA though, which would cost a great deal of money (hmm - where would you get a placebo for dope that couldn't be distinguished from the real thing?).

Contrary to some of the previous posters, I have a lot of respect for the FDA. I used to work in the biotech industry and interacted with them over new drug filings. Very intelligent and dedicated people, trying hard to walk the fine line between approving a drug too soon and waiting too long to allow a life-saving medicine out to the market. It's pretty much inevitable that new information will come to light about a drug after it's approved because post-approval use involves so many more people (and a greater variety of people) than the clinical trials. So the FDA never has complete information. They only get negative press, have you noticed? Half of it says they've been too slow, and half of it says they've been too quick. Seems to me that this probably means they've titrated it about right.

It's really hard to prove a small effect in the clinic. Lab animals make experiments much easier, they all have the same genetic background and are treated the same way, so two huge sources of variation are removed. Be patient with your medical professionals. There are many good reasons for the constant changes of message. Overall, we are getting healthier, however slowly...


Frankly Scott I'm shocked, and a little disappointed.

For this post it appears that you did substantial research to back it up, this isn't like you at all. Where is the "out of the ass" opinions and information-laziness I've come to expect?

Please stop this right now and get back to writing stuff people can easily criticize, monkey-brain!!!


If science someday proves marijuana promotes
good health and safety, would the government
ever recommend it for adults?

Here's a more intelligent question:

If Scott Adams ever notices the absolutely overwhelming evidence that marijuana turns people into useless zombie morons, will he write about it?


Hmm...Check out Bob Marley's cause of death Scott. That was a man who consumed enough weed to check out its cancer preventing properties, did'nt work for him.

What ifs are almost as useless as square tennis balls.

I live in BC, where weed is our largest export to the US after Timber and trust me weed does not improve your driving skills

Roger Williams

Obama says he experimented with it as a teenager.
I guess that is better than I did not inhale.
As Chris Rock said, "If it ain't white, it ain't right."

There is more to Chris's argument, but it is likely too complicated for those interested in reading about the effects of marijuana.

Of the dozen or so of medications I take daily to survive as a wet robot with no actual choice in the matter, I would say marijuana is the only one that is clearly more positive than negative in any possible side effects known or propaganda included.

If Bill Gates were to recommend it and grow it and sell it allowing all profits to go directly to education and or congressional candidates as appropriate, it would be ILLEGAL to NOT smoke marijuana.

The truth is a virus. But so is stupidity and right now, stupidity is still winning.


As a technical kid(17), I wonder if most adults brains ever developed enough to responsibly/intelligently do those things. Don't be condescending because you know some people will bitch bout you promoting marijuana. At least adress your footnote to Morons instead of Kids: That would cover your underage intended recipients as well.

- Teens that use cannabis may function better than teen tobacco-users, and appear to be more socially driven and have fewer psychosocial problems than those who do not use either substance, according to a Swiss survey.


From an economic standpoint, the government should legalize an activity when it becomes more expensive to enforce regulations against it, than it is to pay the social cost of permitting it.

In other words, whenever the cost of training and employing law enforcement officials, public defenders, judges, and added to the cost of imprisonment for offenders becomes GREATER THAN the cost of having kids dropping out of college in order to spend more time sleeping in and eating Doritos.


Marijuana legalization actually reduces alcohol consumption, which is more dangerous thing than smoking weed. Look at The Netherlands.


the Dutch decriminalized dope and there now appears to be an even bigger problem with Hard Drugs


That Heather Mills is SO full of it. Nice purple lipstick, too. Makes her look like a cadaver. Why do I even know she exists again?


1) anybody who is anti-pot has never given it a chance
2) it's no less harmful than many FDA approved chemicals
3) it has enough positives to encourage it's use medicinally
4) it is better than booze in many, many ways
5) go look at the ingredients lists for cigarettes and then please explain to me why you are comparing the two…


There are several good reasons to legalize marijuana, but the "tax the hell out of it" argument is not one of them. Conservation of matter/energy applies to economics, too. You can't just create tax revenue out of thin air.

A quantity of marijuana currently sells for $100, tax free because it's illegal. You pay $100 to your dealer. He then takes that money and spends it on restaurant meals, gasoline, and gaudy jewelry, all of which are taxed. The government gets a cut of that $100 from the marijuana sale, just not at the point of sale.

Marijuana is legalized, and the price drops to $10. That makes the consumer $90 richer. You go out and spend that money on restaurant meals, gasoline, and gaudy jewelry, all of which are taxed. The government gets a cut, just not at the point of sale. Now suppose that the marijuana sale is taxed at, say, 100%. Suddenly you're paying $20, leaving you with only $80 to spend on other taxable items, meaning that the government gets less of a cut later.

If marijuana is taxed at a higher rate than other consumer goods, revenue will go up, but not by as much as you expect.

But that just leads to a second question: why do we think it's a good thin that the government has more of our money?


I like Michael Casey's post. You have been somewhat condescending lately. But, it's your blog, your rules. It's usually a lot of fun, too, so I don't mind.

Anyway, if they PROVED it cured cancer, it would be even less legal. Having a readily available cancer cure would destroy pharmaceutical companies that produce cancer 'treatment' medication - companies that pay a fortune in taxes to the government. I think they've already got a cure for cancer and AIDS, but think of the lost revenue if everyone was healthy. That's why cigarrettes are legal. They cause a lot more damage than pot, but they don't impair your ability to function like other narcotics, so people don't think of them as "drugs". They simply make you get sicker and weaker throughout your life. Pharmaceutical companies make a fortune off smokers with all the medication they need.

That's my conspiracy theory, anyway. Doesn't mean I actually believe it, but doesn't mean I don't

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