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founding

Once again The Free Press doesn't just "touch" the third rail of an unpopular subject - no, they grab it and shake it!

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Sep 14, 2023·edited Sep 14, 2023

Thank you for writing this. My dad was a surgeon. He ALWAYS drilled into us that playing with drugs is like playing Russian Roulette. You never know how your body is going to react so don't even try it. He would tell us stories about drug-induced people in the emergency room. I took the same approach with my kids.

Frankly, what stupid parent tells their kids to take a gun out with only one round in it and have them spin it? That is what these old folks are telling their kids and grandkids to do. And they are arrogant about it too.

Maybe your story will wake some people up.

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founding

My weed days were in the 1970's. In my group of five I watched it destroy three of them. Addicted? Maybe, maybe not. But two were top ten of 750 academically but became demotivated, dropped out and either couldn't or couldn't care to remember even what day of the week it was. The third just became immobile. All three sorted themselves out with the passage of a lot of time (and the help of strong, caring women) but the years lost and potential squandered can never be recovered. Me? One day I just stopped. Don't know how, don't know why but that pivotal moment changed my life. Old guys like me who keep saying weed is harmless clearly only remember the highlights of the 1970's through the rose-colored mist of time and have memory holed the tremendous tragedy that was the lived version of the 1970's drug culture.

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I am over 30, and so is Alex Berenson, we both agree with you, Gideon. I would agree that it is addictive, and can also cause psychosis. I am glad you have found freedom from it. Enjoy your Holy Days.

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"And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face." Gideon, you are well named and wise beyond your years. Thank you for having the courage to tell this truth and share your own story. I worry every day for my grandchildren. This scourge is no joke and the silly old boomer you put in his place needs to know that. What a mess my selfish and spoiled generation continues to make of things.

We all see it. People are high at work, high driving. This is madness. Normal people do not behave this way. No better than zombies. I'm not sure about legalization; mostly because the people in our government are incompetent nitwits. But if you drive stoned you need to lose you license. If you are stoned at work, you need to be fired. And if you start a kid on this garbage, you need to be locked up.

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I had a friend in my college days who smoked a lot of weed. I hung out with her sometime and watched. It seemed harmless. Until the day I looked over and she was doing a line of coke. I stopped thinking it was harmless. That progression doesn't happen for everyone, but it happens for enough people. After that moment, I looked back about what I knew about this young woman - college drop-out, living at home, poor relationships (we both waited tables at the same restaurant - me for spending money, her as the only job she could get) - and I saw it in a different light. I stopped hanging out outside of work. I know her Dad wanted to get her help. I hope he did. She was smart, funny, pretty....and lost.

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founding

“There is no evidence that weed is addictive. That is a debunked MAGA conspiracy.”

-Democrats if they sold weed probably

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Thank you for sharing your story.

Compared to the young people whose parents I've recently spoken to about their weed addictions, however, Gideon's experience was a walk in the park. There's the six foot three 19 year old who had so thrown his digestive system out of whack that he was down to 123 pounds, the 20 year old who went after his girlfriend with a knife during a weed-induced pyschotic break, the girl who spent a week in the hospital on IV fluids in the summer of 2021 and no one in the big Boston hospital thought to ask her the simple question, "Do you smoke weed?" because, well, the party line is "Weed is medicine, it is good for you."

There is so much more to say on the danger to kids of today's marijuana, much of which derives from the ignorance of adults.

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I used to be an alcoholic, and I was thinking about this yesterday. When we say "addictive drugs" what we mean is things you can become physiologically dependent on, like booze (if you drink a "handle" a day you need medically supervised detox: to be clear, I was never that bad), heroin, and others. If you don't do it right, it can kill you.

But there is a secondary detox that nobody talks about, as far as I can tell. This is the reason that AA (a mournful place that I don't need) teaches that you are always an alcoholic, and always use the present tense even if you haven't had a drink in many years.

This secondary detox is filling the space that booze, or weed, or anything else, used to occupy. Until you do that, you are still a latent addict. Period.

To the point of this article (vaguely comical that we have a high school kid here, but I don't mind, and see the point), weed can easily fill a void, and until that void is filled with something else--like a spiritual practice and/or community--your only move is to transition from one addiction to another. It is a commonplace in AA that sex addiction and heavy smoking--not infrequently of weed, ironically but understandably--often accompany giving up the booze.

We are all born needing to have a place or places where we feel emotionally safe. We are all born needing challenges and the sense of control and power that come with meeting them. We need, if not deeply satisfying emotional connection, at least webs of reciprocity we feel we can count on.

It was shown back in the 80's or 90's that the most "multicultural" places trust each other the least. They are not communities. They are a patchwork of families, and most filled with alienated, fearful people. That creates a void. Small wonder all forms of substance abuse are so high.

I would suggest that by far the most prominent addiction in our and other cultures is screen addiction. Phones, computers, TV. None of them really satisfy, but all satisfy just a LITTLE, and because we control them they are not perceived as dangerous. The danger, of course, is that you will be on your deathbed remembering TV shows you watched as the only life you lived. That is a terrible danger.

I spend too much time doing things like this, but at least it is active, not passive. I'm not consuming, but hopefully contributing. I am participating.

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Cannabis destroys lives. It isn’t “safe”, it isn’t non-addictive. It’s well documented to be harmful to immature brains, and those under 25 should never access it. The pot of today is highly concentrated. It’s not your grandparents pot.

Cannaboid induced hyperemesis is an increasing problem in ERs and hospitals in N America. This condition is debilitating, and just one of the many ways pot ruins lives.

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I think it’s interesting how many commenters fall for the natural vs. non-natural fallacy. Snake bites are natural, so is poison ivy, so is tobacco- doesn’t make them good for you.

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What an amazing kid!!! What a story. Thank you for sharing this. I hope The Free Press does more pieces on this topic-- I think it’s really scary, and as we keep legalizing marijuana I feel like the story is getting lost. Well done.

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How insightful. I have suspected for a while that in liberalizing marijuana laws, we may be creating a bigger problem than we're solving. The legal penalties for marijuana users were egregious, in my opinion. But our approach now seems to defy everything we know about substance abuse and addiction. I also wonder about the intersection of such liberalization and the opioid conflagration, taken up in the attached.

https://open.substack.com/pub/joelelorentzen/p/last-dance-with-mary-jane?r=1p5p1m&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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I am constantly embarrassed by my generation’s legacy to the world. I am 72 years old and am often surrounded by the smugness of my few generational peers who have mandated that they were the ones who defined our generation. I am fortunate enough to have become moderately successful after a background in poverty and no college. Because of that, part of my social set includes the very well educated (Ivy League), professional class, anti-Vietnam war, drug, free love segment of my generation. They always assume my background is similar, as we stand and chat while drinking our expensive scotch discussing life.

On the rare occasion when I interject an opposing point of view on drugs, the War and social ills, I often get laughed at condescendingly. When riled, my response to that laughter is an unpacking of a personal story that includes youthful breaking into cars to find a place to sleep, 2 combat tours, a borderline few years on the street upon my return and a long slog, with my wife, to personal success unaided by daddy or a great college degree. I end that small dialog with one question- “ what the fuck do you personally know about drugs, poverty or the war? “

The confusion on their faces is often priceless. The narrative about values and life that the small group of Boomers has created is easily shattered by facts and actual life experience. The smugness becomes embarrassment. I, standing there in an expensive, exclusive establishment, am a living rebuke to the lie that Boomers were right on drugs, civil rights, the war or poverty and Vietnam.

The truth is that my generation was so lazy, so narrow and so selfish that they had to create their own myth to equal the generation that lived through the Depression and WW2. That myth has destroyed everything it has touched.

The sad part about it is that we have allowed this small group of adult children to highjack our culture. We will pay for that for generations.

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Yesterday, I spent time with a friend who is going through the heart-wrenching experience of witnessing his 27-year-old daughter caught in a relentless cycle of loneliness and depression. She has retreated from the world, leading a life of isolation and has compulsively turned to marijuana.

I’m forwarding your article to my friend to share with his daughter, hoping that it strikes a chord with her and ignites a spark of hope.

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To the Free Press:

1. Don’t know how I feel about reading children’s experiences. The majority of the audience here is adults. Unsure why the perspectives of children are needed.

2. This is a child so I feel bad in a sense for coming so strong, but this is bad science (weed is bad)and should not be propagated -- unless Pfizer paid for this story.

3. We have cannabinoids in our bodies. The body can handle weed - hence no overdoses or respiratory depression (dying in your sleep because you can’t breath). Weed won’t do that to you - pharmaceuticals will.

4. Interesting article to say the least. Will be watching to see what else the FP puts out in the future. If anyone’s looking for a stack that can embrace the beauty of nature and it’s remedies, I can touch on this topic in the future

https://unorthodoxy.substack.com

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