Drugs – Marijuana and Mental Capacity

Marijuana and that Glazed Look in the eyes…

One of the things I do is work at trade shows.  I sell a couple of products. So, I’m essentially trying to communicate my ideas about the products and their benefits as succinctly as possible.  

How quickly the person I’m speaking to ‘gets it’ has a certain amount to do with me but I made an interesting observation this past weekend working a trade show. 

The show was geared to an older group, mainly 50 plus.  In Toronto.

Last summer I did a show in Vancouver, Canada.  I’ve been working at that show each year, selling, for about 10 years. I made an observation to some other Vendors at the Vancouver show earlier this year that people the people that were coming by the booths were getting harder and harder to talk to.  The reaction I received from these other vendors was amazing. They were having the same problems.  Some of the other vendor that I spoke to thought the problem was that more and more people were on pharmaceuticals and some thought it was because Vancouver was drugged out on dope(pot, marijuana).  Was just making them more dopey.

I’m not sure and I don’t know if any studies on this have been made but I certainly observed a significant difference.  In Vancouver there were many glazed over eyes.  The attention span is getting shorter and shorter.  Pretty scary really.  

 I really don’t know if it was the age group or the city but the group this past weekend was certainly paying attention.  There could be other factors but in Vancouver, I find it difficult to go almost anywhere in the city without being exposed to the smell of dope or the evidence of the damage that drugs are doing to that city.

Drives me nuts when the purporters of this drug(and make no bones, it is a drug) go on about the fact that no one has ever died from marijuana(dope, pot).  This from a site called promises.com

“If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, their risk of a fatal crash is 13 times higher than the risk of the driver who is not under the influence of alcohol,” Dr. Guohua Li said. “But if the driver is under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana, their risk increases to 24 times that of a sober person.”*

Drugs, marijuana included, diminish one’s capacity.  Short term and long term.  I’ve seen too many lives destroyed by drugs, again marijuana included.  There are lots of people that ‘function’ – to me that is more like the functioning alcoholic.  

There are a lot of movements to limit and lessen the use of drugs in our society.  I’m hoping they are successful.  I like people and like talking to them.  It is just rough when they are out of it as a result of the continued use of pot. 

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Vancouver: City On Drugs

It is no secret to my friends and most of my acquaintances that I really don’t like drugs and the extensive use of them in our society.  I just don’t like what drugs do to people.  

I spent the last few weeks working at a fair in Vancouver Canada.  It was scary the number/percentage of people that were just spaced.  Attention spans of twenty seconds or so.  So many were really unable to listen to what I was saying.  I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and know how to keep people’s attention (most of the time)!

It is very easy to put this off to the fact that people are just too busy and in too much of a hurry – more so each year – my observations belie this.

I mentioned this phenomenon to some other vendors at the PNE and to some regular customers.  I received a couple of interesting comments. One person thought that these particular types were on some prescribed pharmaceuticals.  Another person observed that it was far too easy to access pot now.  Especially in Vancouver.  Either way, most agreed that their was a definite decline in peoples attention and awareness.

And here is another observation I’ve made.  I speak my feelings about marijuana to a LOT of people.  People that do not smoke it – whether they did in the past or never did – generally agree with me that progressively harmful effects can be seen in those that do smoke it.

Those that do smoke pot on a regular or semi regular basis – there is like a switch that goes off.  It is really weird but the idea of the harmlessness of marijuana is so consistent in anyone that I’ve spoken to that does pot I had to look at what I was like back in the 60s when I tried it.

For me and many of my friends, it was experimentation.  I tried it for a while.  While I was doing it I was completely convinced that there was no harm in it and it actually helped me.  A bit later, I was away from my friends that smoked it for some time and it wasn’t readily available.  As a result, I just didn’t do it for some months.  (Wasn’t that big of a deal.)  It was then that I realized that I much preferred not to be stoned.  Fog lifted and I was much more clear headed and alert.

Pretty much one for one, when I watch people that smoke pot regularly over a year or more, I can see a lessening of communication, a lessening of patience.  Some get down right paranoid!

 

I’ve had friends/acquaintances that even when offered some information that disagreed with their view on marijuana, refused to even look at it.  There is a ton of information on the harmful effects of pot but there is that ‘switch’ – so anybody that actually does it on any kind of regular basis just won’t look.

Then there is the comparison to alcohol. The ‘catchy’ phrase of people arguing for pot: “Well, no one has ever died from pot!”  Oh, really?  My friend Pat had a nephew that smoked pot. He had asthma.  He was stoned and was having trouble breathing due to his asthma.  According to friends(also stoned at the time) he was so apathetic from being stoned, that he just didn’t care and died.  This is pretty tragic.

Do your research.  This is not an individual instance of death as a result of this drug.

I friend of mine – a bartender in Red Deer, Alberta.  He smokes pot.  Fairly regularly.  We were discussing the subject and he knows my views about dope.  I mentioned the fact of pot creating a lack of drive in most people that I meet.  He told me that is something that he really has a problem with in life – the lack of drive.  It is a real issue for him.  But because he smokes dope, he really can’t/won’t do anything about it.

I mean, really, the term ‘dope’ wasn’t coined for no reason.

I know a number of people in Vancouver that are heavily promoting and supporting the legalization of marijuana in Canada.  The number of people that have trouble with extensive use (or any use for that matter) is not very difficult if you look.  Makes me think these folks are kinda selfish in their goals.

5 Ways of Coping With Depression

…Without the use of drugs!

There are numerous ways one can deal with depression without using drugs.  You are obviously going to get your Doctor or Psychiatrist going on about these treatments not being tested; things like certain supplements or having dubious results.

Well, compare the fact that vitamin C has likely not ever killed anyone.  There are some supplements that have a more erratic history but this information needs to be taken with the proper comparative data.

For example:

1. St John’s Wort – $55 million spent on this one annually in the US of A.  For the purpose of alleviating depression.  There are side effects of this one.  The majority of side effects, I have found, from the bit of research that I’ve done, is when taken in conjunction with pharmaceuticals that are also taken for the purposes of alleviating depression.  Pretty easy to find the side effects of these anti-depressant drugs.  As anything you take, do your own research and make sure that the products that you take play well together.

2. Exercise – The Mayo Clinic(http://www.mayoclinic.org) recommends exercise.  Exercise can help in a couple of ways according to their website. From a ‘chemical’ standpoint, it releases ‘good’ chemicals into your system(in a much more natural way than anti-depressants). Some of these are: neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids.  Secondly, exercise tends to take your mind off your worries, increases confidence and pride and often gets one out and about so there is more social interaction.

3. EMpowerPlus: This is product developed in Alberta Canada by a company called TrueHope(http://www.truehope.com/depression.html) Lots of testimonials and accolades.  A combination of vitamins and minerals developed originally to specifically deal with BiPolar Disorder.  One of the developer’s wives committed suicide as a result of this mental disorder and was determined to come up with a natural solution, which seems to work for a LOT of people.

(More info at Amazon.com:  EMPowerplus Q96 – Improve Brain Function And Boost Mood, Mood Enhancement Supplement Stabilizer With Micronutrients, Multivitamins for Improved Mental Clarity, Focus, and Brain Health, 120 Capsules)

4. Fast Food – Keep Away… Per The Science Daily )https://www.sciencedaily.com) “…A 42% increase in the risk [of depression] associated with fast food was found,…”.  There are numerous studies showing the relationship of depression and fast/junk food.  This is not a simple change for many as with it comes a bit of a lifestyle change.  If you are not going to eat at McDonald’s or order in Chinese food, what are you going to do.  Learn to cook?  This will actually do a couple of things(learning to cook, I mean) – it will get you healthier, which will obviously lessen depression and it will also get you more active, so you don’t ‘think’ so much.

5. Go for a walk.  Likely one of the simplest and most effective.  This is a bit like the exercise thing but not exactly.  I heard a story once about a woman who was very depressed after having a baby.  After nothing else working, a friend took her out for a walk.  She make her walk away from her home until she almost couldn’t walk any more then return home. Within a few days she was completely better.  If you are going to try this one, don’t go out to ‘think’.  While walking, look at things or touch things.  Look at trees, buildings, fire hydrants, lampposts.  If you have to make a game with yourself, then look for thing of different shapes or sizes or colours or whatever.  Figure out the game as you go or before you go.  That way you are forcing your attention outwards instead of introspecting.  Always healthier that way.

I really hope that you try some of these things.

Guns and Drugs – Drugs and Guns

I’ve worked selling various products at trade shows and fairs for almost 20 years.  In the US of A, I had a product that did really well at gun shows.  And those shows were pretty inexpensive to get in so I could afford them when I was starting out.  Like anywhere else I talked to people when I was at these shows and learned a lot of the ‘other’ side of the gun argument.  There were quite a few cops and ex-cops at these shows and I got some great stories.

One particular story stuck with me that has a lot to do, I think, with a lot of comments I’ve seen with relation to some recent gun violence and also the legalization of pot(marijuana).  I was working at this local fair one summer in a small town in southern Oregon.

First a little background on gun violence in the US of A…

For the years 2010 and 2011 there were about 32,000 gun deaths each year.  Per https://www.thoughtco.com(which takes its data from government stats) about 60% of these are suicides.  Leaves about 11,000.  I’m not arguing here whether that is a lot or not compared to other places but let’s dig in a little deeper.  Depending on where you, look up to 80% of these are gang related. Some places much more.

(I could not find the information but I’d love to see the stats on the suicides and how many of those were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of death.  Most pharmaceuticals that are prescribed for depression and such have side effects that make those feelings worse…!)

Drugs, Crime, and Justice(Amazon link)

So, I’m working this fair in Oregon and chatting with the vendor in the next booth. As it turns out, he is a Sheriff and works as such on the weekends when they need the extra help.  On the Sunday morning when we started, he mentioned that they had to deal with a gun incident the night before.  I’m still not sure why I asked, but my question to him at that point was, “How many gun incidents are drug or alcohol related?”  He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “Well, all of them!”  Further conversation stressed that they never had a situation involving firearms where there was an absence of drugs or alcohol.

It is very difficult to get the exact statistics on the gang stuff but drugs backed by violence is pretty much the bread and butter of inner city gang existence.

This(drugs+guns) bears out in mass shootings(which are pretty rare statistically), in that there are almost always drugs as part of the equation.  In this case, almost always legal, prescribed drugs.  Oops!

I still see people on social media trying to turn this around and blame the guns instead of the drugs.  If you take the drugs out of the equation, guns are generally not a problem.  If you take drugs out of the equation, and suicides committed by people using guns(that one can be argued, I’m sure), you are left with a couple of thousand deaths by guns a year.  Which is almost the same as deaths by stabbing(https://www.infoplease.com/us/crime/murder-victims-weapons-used) and I don’t see people getting freaked out about knives.  (Please note I did not break down the number of drunks and druggies doing the stabbing.)

Over the years, I’ve heard the media and a while back, one comedian mention that Australia’s gun murders have gone down by about 50% since guns were banned in 1993 or so.  If you do the research, gun murders in the USA have gone down the exact same percentage for the same period of time.  Gun murders are about half what they were in 1992 and the volume of gun ownership has increased by about 2 1/2 times in the same period of time.

Gun Murders 51 year low

So, why then are people getting more upset about passing laws about guns?  My figuring is that curtailing the use of drugs would make a lot more difference.  Maybe all the difference.  

I do welcome comments.  I’m willing to look at statistics that make sense.

For more on this go to Amazon.com:
Drugs, Crime, and Justice

Do you want your kids on speed?

Would you let your kid’s school teacher rave to your child about the benefits of crack cocaine and heavily market how wonderful the drug is and how much it could improve your children’s lives?  Would you allow some street kid to do a seminar on how wonderful amphetamines are for your kids; how these drugs would increase your child’s school performance, etc?

I think not!

This from(https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000792.htm)

“Amphetamines are drugs. They can be legal or illegal. They are legal when they are prescribed by a doctor…”

So, does that mean they are illegal when not prescribed by a doctor.  I think that is pretty much the case but if you look through just about any women’s magazine or something like Cosmo, you find, in the USA, the companies that make the amphetamines, marketing directly to the consumer.  Kinda skipped a step didn’t they?

And television…!!  There is no other fucking country in the world beside the United States that allows pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers on Television. (Well, actually one other country besides the US of fucking A – it’s New Zealand – but no one really knows where that is anyway!)

Did you know that clinical research for non-prescription medicine is rarely made public SO the advertisers can fucking lie all they want about these products.  And do.

Per http://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/feature-big-pharma-ethics-of-tv-advertising/ (don’t know where they get their numbers but they are likely conservative.),  57 fucking % of the stuff the pharmaceutical companies say in these ads are out and out lies – that’s on the over the counter stuff.  Like I said, they don’t have to tell the truth.  

These assholes(Big Pharma) have to be more careful with prescription stuff because the data has to be public.  But even then, how they say stuff is pretty appalling.

So, people have been conned by doctors and psychiatrists over the years, believing that these psychiatrists know what they are talking about.  The pharmaceutical companies know what they are saying – they know for sure that they are lying.  They can justify things, saying that they are in the letter of the law.  BUT…

Combine this shit with the fact that most doctors in the US of fucking A only have 15 minutes(http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/need-15-minutes-doctors-time/) to see a patient and determine what the fuck is wrong with them. The patient comes in claiming that they need a specific drug that they have heard about in Cosmopolitan Magazine or some TV ad, so the doctor, very often, prescribes without finding out what is actually wrong with the patient – if anything! Remember he has only 15 minutes to figure shit out.

Estimates are that Big Pharma spends over $5 billion a year on advertising.  Some references state that they spend more on advertising then they do on R&D.

$5.2 Billion annually!!

Per https://www.statista.com/statistics/470467/perfumes-cosmetics-and-other-toilet-preparations-industry-ad-spend-usa/ …the amount spent annually on cosmetics/perfumes etc is about $18.7 Billion(2016 – approximate).

I know people personally that spend nothing on advertising because their product/service is of such high quality that they get 100% referrals.  And they can charge big bucks for said service.  Big Pharma needs fucking laws to stop people from bringing lawsuits to bear because they screw up so much. They don’t have to be accountable! Go figure!

I’m still searching for more recent figures on this but in 2006 Big Pharma spent $3.4 Billion on product placement for Television and movies.

http://archive.fortune.com/2007/09/28/magazines/fortune/simons_productplacement.fortune/index.htm

The really strange thing is that I cannot find data as to what they spend more recently.  If you read some of the articles that talk about this subject from 2007, there are all sorts of dire warnings to and about Big Pharma. The reason being that in that type of venue(TV/Movies) they have no need to list out all the side effects, etc.  For them it is pretty cheap celebrity advertising.  So, maybe they listened and are being careful on how they do the placements.

If anyone reading this cares to, and finds out any more information on this let me know or leave in the comments…

So, what to make of all this bullshit?  What the fuck are they trying to hide?  Why do these pharmaceutical companies have to spend so much money marketing?   (Maybe because their products don’t really work!)

Stay away from TV! Please!