Tuesday 1 December 2009

Can You Hear The Righteous' Heads Go Pop?

The all-out attack on alcohol is throwing up some fascinating exercises in desperation.

Answer to booze problems may lie in cannabis

Amanda [Reiman, University of California, Berkeley] said: "Substituting cannabis for alcohol has been described as a radical alcohol treatment protocol. This approach could be used to address heavy alcohol use in the British Isles - people might substitute cannabis, a potentially safer drug than alcohol with less negative side-effects, if it were socially acceptable and available".

I think we need to hear Don 'rent-a-gob' Shenker and Lardy Liam's view on this.

Don? Lardarse? Where are you?


Curmudgeon said...

I comment only from subjective personal experience, but I would say that many people can continue to function normally and responsibly in society while consuming amounts of alcohol way above the official guidelines, so long as they maintain a reasonable separation between working and drinking.

Cannabis, on the other hand, has a kind of subtle and insidious effect and is likely to lead to a loss of memory and motivation even at levels comparable with regular moderate drinking. In that politically incorrect but very apt phrase, "it mongs you out".

Having said that, it might be better to wean hopeless alcoholics on to cannabis, but that isn't what's being proposed here.

Mark Wadsworth said...

What Curmudge says.

The last time I smoked cannabis, I woke up bright and early the next day, the sun was shining through the curtains, all was well with the world, mild buzz but no painful hangover. My first thought was "Wow, how nice, much better than a hangover. So far I have a very good attendance record at Uni, it won't do any harm to take today off and relax."

All of which sent terror and panic coursing through my veins. I am naturally bad tempered and hard-working and hate waking up, hate getting up, going to work (although I manage it every day) etc. So I swore to stick to good old fashioned booze in future, which makes the first few hours of the day a living hell, but does not in any way demotivate me from working etc.

Antipholus Papps said...

This is a very good point - cannabis is excellent for weaning yourself off of booze, if that's what you want to do. When apartheid for smokers was introduced, I gave up alcohol for three months - didn't visit one pub unless it was for work (I am a stand-up comedian), and no alcohol passed my lips thanks entirely to a readily available supply of weed. I wasn't prepared to give my business to lickspittles who would happily gob in their best customer's faces. (And I needed to cut down.) Besides, getting stoned after a comedy gig is far preferable to booze as you spend the rest of the evening... enjoying the evening. Rather that dealing with a fevered ego comparing itself to other acts (this happens when drinking after a performance).

Cannabis, on the other hand, has a kind of subtle and insidious effect

Shut the fuck up. Really, shut the fuck up. Yes, I've wasted many weekends smoking the herb, when I could perhaps have affected beneficial change in my life, but seriously... "a subtle and insidious effect"? Shut the fuck up you righteous cunt. Marijuana has been used for millennia! Subtle and insidious indeed! You should be ashamed of yourself! My most inspired writing has occurred while stoned out of my mind. Enough tests have been conducted on Marijuana over thousands of years, and the results are in.... it's a better drug than alcohol. Unless you're on a date. Then you might get a little self-conscious. (It's also very bad to smoke a joint before getting up on stage and attempting to make people laugh - booze is better in that situation, but better to have nothing at all!) Anyway, smoke, drink, be happy. And if you're talking about 'insidious effects', just fuck off.

(I am aware that this comment is probably a very bad advertisement for the consumption of cannabis - sorry, but Curmudgeon really got my goat there. It's a bit much to be dodging bullets from nominal allies.)

BTS said...

I can say from experience that a decent bit of weed can help you to cut down or quit the booze but, as Antipholus says, only if you want to.

I haven't smoked dope regularly for a couple of years but that isn't because of any 'insidious effect' upon my ability to work. I just haven't been able to find a reliable dealer lately..

They're both great fun in my view, it's just that vodka is a bit easier to come by at the moment. And it mixes better with pomegranite juice..

w/v: dangle. I kid you not.

bayard said...

So, Mr A. Papps, cannabis doesn't fuck up your memory. Well aren't you the lucky one? That doesn't mean it doesn't affect other people's memories (like mine), which is an effect that lasts a lot longer than those of alcohol consumption. Your experience is different from mine and Curmudgeon's. If we wants to say what effect cannabis has on us, why should we shut the fuck up, simply because it doesn't have that effect on you?

"Marijuana .... it's a better drug than alcohol."

I take it you haven't had to try and get through a day at work with no short-term memory at all as a result of getting stoned the night before.

Curmudgeon said...

Ooh, I've never been called a righteous cunt on the blogosphere before!

As I said, I can only comment from what I have seen of the effects of cannabis on other people. Regular use in quantities that are perceived as "moderate" has an obvious effect on people in terms of their short-term memory, concentration and motivation. Most people understand very clearly what is meant by the term "stoner".

I'm quite happy for my stand-up comedian to be a regular dope smoker, but I would be much less happy if my train driver or accountant were.

In principle I have no objection to the full legalisation of cannabis, but I have no time for the "cannabis lobby" as they are constantly trying to promote their drug of choice by saying how much worse alcohol is.

Antipholus Papps said...

If we want to say what effect cannabis has on us, why should we shut the fuck up

Huh? Who said what? Where am I? Who are you?

No, you are of course quite correct, and I'd be the first to defend your right to express your experiences uncensored. I might say "shut the fuck up", and you have every right to tell me to go swivel. But... there is such a lot of hysteria and outright bullshit being spouted about marijuana; that it causes psychosis, that it's so much stronger than it used to be... yada yada yada, that I had something of a knee-jerk reaction to Mr Curmudgeon's comment (and I hope I didn't offend you Mr Curmudgeon sir, by erm... calling you a righteous cunt, I uh... I meant it affectionately). ;)

(Actually I was drunk.)

Anyway, with regards to short-term memory loss, while I have often walked into my living room and thought "why on earth did I come in here?", I'd like to think that this is due to having had a flurry of exciting lateral thoughts on my way downstairs from the kitchen (where I left my toast burning). I've been regularly delighted to observe my mind wandering all over the place while stoned, to such an extent that I can easily forget what I'm doing from one moment to the next. But I'm aware of this, and don't find it subtle or insidious. It's part of the high and can be jolly good fun. (Unless of course you are driving a train.)

Now, with regards to being able to do a job well - I've never struggled to get through a day's work because of excess toking the night before. Whereas I've had hangovers that forced me to go home and lie down. In fact, until recently I was working part-time in the University sector and would often have a joint at lunchtime. I was building websites at the time, and found the two to be perfectly compatible - it's easy to 'zone in' on the abstractions and circular logic of coding when stoned out of your gourd. I guess I've become a functioning pothead.