Gee. What A Surprise. Pot Damages Brains.

Have you ever had the experience of knowing immediately and without question that something was wrong, and have everyone around you argue, and smirk, and yell, and posture, and insult, and mock, and still know you are right, and then be ignored only to have the fact show you were right all along, as you knew you would be?

That’s been my experience with marijuana. At this point, I’m no longer angry about it, frustrated or even sad. I’m resigned. I’m not accepting, because that’s not how I’m wired. This isn’t even the only issue like this: I will not be surprised when in future years there will be other cultural suicidal decisions that I (and many others) warned about and tried to explain why they were utterly, stupidly, indefensibly wrong. We may just open the borders. We may gut the First Amendment, or try to ban guns. We may swallow the poison pill of socialism, or worse. I won’t be surprised. I have learned that the entropy of society drifts toward idiocy, ignorance and self-destruction. I know I am lucky that I was born quite a bit smarter than  my typical fellow citizen, but they are not lucky that they so, so overwhelm me and people like me when it comes to guiding our cultural ship.

The New York Times article, authored by Kenneth L. Davis, the president and chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System and Mary Jeanne Kreek,  head of the Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases at Rockefeller University, is titled “Marijuana Damages Young Brains.”

It essentially outlines a public health crisis, and more: it explains that we are not merely legaizing but preparing to market and promote a “recreational drug” that will make the public even dumber and less intellectually capable now than they already are. They write,

Numerous studies show that marijuana can have a deleterious impact on cognitive development in adolescents, impairing executive function, processing speed, memory, attention span and concentration. The damage is measurable with an I.Q. test. Researchers who tracked subjects from childhood through age 38 found a consequential I.Q. decline over the 25-year period among adolescents who consistently used marijuana every week. In addition, studies have shown that substantial adolescent exposure to marijuana may be a predictor of opioid use disorders.

Wow! Pot makes people who started smoking it like they were chewing gum when they were teens and kept doing it through college and their early twenties become less capable than they would have been if they didn’t? Who suspected that?

Oh, just everybody who thought about it, watched and listened to some of their stoned pot-happy relatives and friends, and weren’t ideologically committed to lies and denial, that’s all.

We have a perfect analogy for this script: cigarettes. It was common knowledge that cigarettes were addictive and caused serious health problems in the early 20th Century. American joked about it, even wrote songs about it. Never mind: smoking was cool, so the culture accepted and endorsed behavior that killed, and is still killing, millions.

Wide and deep pot use won’t kill that many, but it might hurt society more… by crippling so many individuals’ ability to reason that our ability as a nation to make good decisions is similarly disabled, by wounding so many workers’ productivity and skill that business and the economy falters, and by lowering the IQs of so many potential leaders, thinkers, artist, intellectuals, educators, scientists and essential professionals  that life is less rich and promising. We knew that pot was bad for society a long time ago too, but promoting it as a harmless, fun, cool drug that made life more mellow was part of the mantra (as in “bullshit”) of the Sixties. Musicians, pop culture figures and arrogant  intellectuals began a relentless campaign to undermine what had been a powerful and effective cultural taboo, and they wouldn’t stop until it was gone.

Since marijuana was cool, the government’s efforts to stem its use were reresented foolish, square, hysterical (Have you seen “Reefer Madness?”) oppression. People weren’t jailed very often for using or selling pot because not many did it—until opinion-makers and role-models were telling kids how great it was. It was like free sex (breaking that cultural taboo worked out well, too): adults were just keeping the good stuff away from kids, by not letting them find out how great it was. The law of supply and demand took over: soon so many people were breaking the law that trust in all laws and the system that made them eroded. The prisons filled up, lives and families were ruined, and billions were spent on policies that couldn’t reverse the cultural tide. All over a “harmless” drug!

I saw all of this coming, developing, and knew how it would turn out. I told people too, at all those parties surrounding by giggling, inarticulate fools who by day were my smart, witty fellow students. No, I said, literally a thousand times, I do NOT want to try a joint “just once.” I am not “curious,” and yes, the fact that it is illegal is enough for me, and would be enough even if it wasn’t so ridiculously obvious that nothing that smells like that, is used like that, and makes people talk and act like that can possibly be anything but unhealthy for individuals, society, and me.

All my experience from that time onward showed that I was right and the pot advocates were wrong. One by one, all of my marijuana enthusiast friends noticed that they were having memory and motivation problems, and stopped. (I didn’t have to stop, because I never started.) Even pop and rock stars announced that it was time to clear their brains, but it didn’t stop the propaganda at all: what did they know? They were old.

Little by little politicians caved, because that’s what they do; besides, there was money to  be made and budgets to balance. I, meanwhile, continued to explain—no, it’s not an argument, because there isn’t another valid side—that once a culture legalizes what it had made illegal, the reversal more than changes a law. It declares that the government now believes  that what it thought was wrong and harmful is good and right. That genie does not go back into the bottle. That’s why Prohibition failed: at the point it was enacted, alcohol was already so embedded in the culture that trying to remove it was futile and destructive.

Pot was not embedded in the culture 50 years ago, but the progressive process was compete once decriminalization began, and then legalization, pointing to, inevitably, commercialization. Just as alcohol makes America unquestionable less healthy, effective, happy and successful, so will pot make it worse as well.

This completely avoidable development has caused horrible pain and tragedy in my own immediately family (as has alcohol abuse). I cannot go through life blaming and being angry at everybody, but anyone who expresses surprise that everything those of us who were paying attention said was dangerous about pot was pretty much true had better be willing to duck. I don’t want to hear it now. I just hope they enjoy the diminished nation and culture they helped construct.

And mow a song, from the late, great, Ray Charles…

 

37 thoughts on “Gee. What A Surprise. Pot Damages Brains.

  1. “I know I am lucky that I was born quite a bit smarter than the my typical fellow citizen”

    I know typos are your weakness, but the irony here was too amusing to ignore.

    • That explanation, at least, would be something I could live with.

      The actual likelihood that we just created them all via indoctrination beginning in pre-school is far more disturbing than mere substance abuse.

      Of course, indoctrination doesn’t explain people my age who are nascent socialist totalitarian “social justice” warriors. So maybe you’re on to something.

      • The drop in IQ was from 100 to 90. That is substantial. Just for clarification, the US military is forbidden to induct anyone with and IQ lower than 83 because there is no role that they can fill. At an IQ less than 83, such a person requires so much supervision to do even simple tasks, that the unit is actually more efficient without them. A 90 IQ means that 75% of the population is higher than you. At 82, 89% of the population is higher. Anyone at 90 is going to struggle with analysis of data, they will make good drones.

    • If it is turned into a question, it is a good one: “Why are we are seeing so many social justice warriors in the 21st century?”

      I’d suggest though that the rise of the SJW is a post-war phenomenon, so right there one would have to define it as the second half of the 21st century. The first half, in America and in other places, is now described as semi-fascistic. For example, all the activities of Madison Grant and a group of original Americans trying to curtail the demographic changes that were taking shape were later defined as such (and still are). You would also have to take into account the strong influence of the Klan in the 10s and 20s in many American cities. It is true that there were Communist-Marxist activists that operated on the coasts in the 20s and 30s who influenced Marxian social justice warriors, and this influence cannot be denied, and here you have one of the poles that has been working, ceaselessly, to remodel America along new lines.

      Though I honestly do not think anyone on this blog desires to see it (thus there is a ‘will not to see’) the SJW is an anti-racialist activist, a proponent of establishing for America a new definition of itself, as a multicultural nation, in a vast interconnected economic system, and this meant of course confronting and combatting the ‘old’ definition of America as a European-descended nation. It is a mistake to attribute this vast shift to a kind of lunatic SJW and to do so is to confuse understanding the issue. The modern SJW can be analyzed and described, and the causal chain that created this entity understood, but there is no way to separate the SJW from structural, economic, political and demographic operatives very much part of the American system.

      It seems to me that all of the problems of today, arise from power struggles as minority factions assert themselves. The ‘narrative’ that is used by these groups is on the one hand anti-American, and redefining of America, but at the same time (perversely) an employment of the terms and tenets of Americanism. Where it will end up in anyone’s guess. But there is a sort of ‘madness’ in operation. Something hysterical and impulsive.

      There is an acid eating away at the foundation and structure of America and — sorry to keep saying this but it is the role I have established for myself and the one that has been given me! — no one on this Blog can talk about this. The acid will go on just as it is now, or it will be confronted. But who will confront it? The act of confrontation will mean and can only mean the reestablishment of definitions that were common, prevalent and normal at one time, but which have now been vilified and made to appear as *evil*.

      The word ‘stupid’ is supercilious because — again, sorry! — the world we see forming outside the window, the insane activists who storm outside and threaten to burn and topple, in this each and every one of you has a direct line of sheer guilt and culpability. You are — each one of you — deeply complicit in what has been created. We all are to one degree or another. You are still complicit because you subscribe to each and every tenet of postwar Americanism. You can define nothing different. You are, in fact, the social justice warriors. The social justice warriors are the greater majority of Americans today, and this is because they have internalized these *values*. Therefore, it seems to me that in order for any part of this to change, that *you* must be changed. But this is very very difficult because the *you* I refer to is ideologically convinced that the tenets of social justice warriorship are moral and ethical. Here, the impasse is described. This is where *America* is now stuck. What might change that?

      noun: impasse; plural noun: impasses: a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock.

      The more that I meditate on the entire situation the more that I find it, in essence, utterly strange and radically weird! So, the best course is simply to go on pointing this out.

      • Okay, ill bite: you declared that there is an “acid” eating away at America, within the context of the SJW. What, then, is that ” acid” and how can we non-SJW confront and defeat it? Oh, and be specific. ,

        jvb

        • PART ONE

          As you may have noticed my effort on this blog is to 1) define (see) who are the denizens here and better understand what world they see and how their seeing came to be, and 2) interpret those people in a particular philosophical and meta-political context which has been developing in the Occident. That is, one that is critical of the excesses of liberalism. Though it began earlier, you could use Alain de Benoist and his reaction to 1968 France as a point of reference.

          This school of thought, this school of reaction, is anti-liberal. Put another way, they are compelled to critique the liberal excesses that they see as ‘rot’ and ‘decadence’ and to understand why and how this has come about. We who are entrenched and enmeshed in our own time — a decadent, postmodern condition — struggle to make sense of a world that appears to come apart at the seams: traditional hierarchies have been attacked and undermined and the ‘sentimental’ (feeling-based) takes precedence over the ‘intellectual’.

          It has seemed to me that Richard Weaver in Ideas Have Consequences gets to the heart of the matter of ‘acids’ and of dissolution when he speaks of as beginning at a certain point and which he locates in the late fourteenth century and the abandonment of ‘belief in’ transcendentals.

          “The defeat of logical realism in the great medieval debate was the crucial event in the history of Western culture; from this flowed those acts which now issue in modern decadence.”

          Weaver also wrote in the chapter of that same book called Fragmentation & Obsession:

          WHOEVER argues for a restoration of values is sooner or later met with the objection that one cannot
          return, or as the phrase is likely to be, “you can’t turn the clock back.” By thus assuming that we are prisoners of the moment, the objection well reveals the philosophic position of modernism. The believer in truth, on the other hand, is bound to maintain that the things of highest value are not affected by the passage of time; otherwise the very concept of truth becomes impossible. In declaring that we wish to recover lost ideals and values, we are looking toward an ontological realm which is timeless. Only the sheerest relativism insists that passing time renders unattainable one ideal while forcing upon us another. Therefore those that say we can have the integration we wish, and those who say we cannot, differ in their ideas of ultimate reality, for the latter are positing the primacy of time and of matter.And this is the kind of division which prevents us from having one world.

          With this, at the very least, you have some indications about what the *acid* is. However, it requires a philosophical mind and some distance in order to grasp the issue as a metaphysical problem. I suggest — and have been saying the same thing for years now — that we need to succeed in taking our eyes off the screen on which are projected the images of chaos, and become capable of seeing what is projecting them. We have to take our eyes off the immediate events that swarm and confuse, and attempt to understand why and how these things have come to be: why they appear.

          The Social Justice Warrior is operating out of a set or a combination of different motivators. Remember that I am saying, and will continue to say, that you are all of you ‘social justice warriors’ insofar as you truly ‘believe in’ and live in accord with the tenets of the American civil religion. But as far as I have been able to tell there are various ‘Americas’. I mention often the American Postwar where, in my view, a New America began to be defined. That is, the America that won the war, dominated the world as a New-Imperialism, and began to establish a new identity for America in a time with little or no historical continuity with the previous time, the previous America. I call this ‘Hyper-Liberal America’ but some refer to it as Postmodern America. But without the critical definition of what America has become, and how radically what it is contrasts with what it says it is, and what many still believe it is, you would not be able to understand why some see America and the Americanopolis as an ‘adversary’.

          Now, what is a Social Justice Warrior? If I begin to answer this question, though it needs to be answered, this response will get too long. But I suggest that the classic SJW is a religious activist and one motivated by religious idealism divorced from transcendental concerns. A being who does not have a transcendental dimension and who acts — often with great power and force — within a narrow immanence, as I might call it. I would suggest as well (I did not invent this perspective of course) that the SJW has been influenced by and in a sense created by the neo-Marxist activists of the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm and numerous others). As I am sure you have heard, the old-school Marxists who were more traditional activists largely on the coasts, was replaced by the ‘Cultural Marxists’ of the Postwar.

        • PART TWO

          To the best of my ability or capacity I have been trying to *see* what the social justice warrior is and what motivates him and her. I regret that I do not have it all worked out and I think one of the reasons is because I am, just like *you* and all of us, enmeshed in a kind of ‘being’ (a way of seeing, a perceptual order) in which we give assent to the basic tenets of this belief system. It is a tired metaphor but we ‘swim’ in this system-of-belief as a fish swims in water and we think it ‘metaphysically necessary’. It is difficult to conceive of an alternative order and the more that this is so, the less we can resist the movement of the present and have nothing to oppose it with. (Therefore, we look for intellectual tools with which to oppose it).

          But more relevantly, I think that to oppose these *tenets* one needs something solid as a counter-point-of-reference. And I must confess that I think this is where the New European Right and the Philosophical Right is weak. But then — and perhaps you will agree with me — even Weaver with his value-infused rhetorical presentation, quite convincing, quite stimulating, could not propose some sort of ‘plan’. And it seems to me that the American Conservative movement which, I gather, he put into movement has not been tremendously successful in resisting what Heidegger referred to as the machinations of the present time and its forces. I venture to say that there really does not exist an American Conservative movement nor a philosophical school. American Conservatism is c***servatism and has given itself over to bizarre machinations. Some in the New Right have written about the ‘Trotskyite’ background of American Neoconservatism. This makes sense to me. It is an insane and destructive non-philosophy.

          [Machination = Machenschaft: The rise of the coercive power of ordering signifying an emergence of historically and spatially significant moment of completion: outgrowth of the early Greek notions of tekhne and phusis in terms of globally expanding systems of calculative orderings].

          Please don’t blame me much for mentioning what seems like a difficult idea: machination. It would be unfair to blame me personally for trying to deal in a rather difficult meta-political term in order to try to apply some labels to the present era; what it is, what makes it as it is, what upholds it.

          The SJW is an operative within the machinations of the present. I think this ‘activity’, if you will accept that word, is related to the consequential ideas that Weaver refers to.

          Now, I have been influenced by The Dispossessed Majority (Wilmot Robertson). This is a radical book that represents in the American context thoughtcrime of the first order. Therein are ideas and concepts which *you* are not allowed to think. But it is these sorts of ideas, or derivatives and modifications of them, that are beginning to diffuse into the intellectual culture of America and of Europe.

          Today, if I were to speak of ‘acid’ and the effects of acids I would start from the notion — the reality — of demographic dilution as one of the principal areas where modern acids are working. If there is such a thing as ‘intellectual acid’ or ‘spiritual acid’ (as Weaver indicates) I would suggest that there will be noticed a range of effects from the spiritual plane down into the physical plane. The physical manifestation of ‘spiritual rot’ very definitely takes shape in the physical world. The perversion of self begins spiritually and proceeds into the person’s physical body as well as that of the culture. I regret to say that I see the demographic dilution of America as an effect of its spiritual dissolution. I have closely read Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard for example and I basically accept their ideas.

          A ‘nation’ is defined as a people who share the same physical structure among other common things. You could say ‘race’ if you wish. The dissolution of the United States is taking place within its physical undermining as a ‘nation’ and as a ‘people’. This shows one of the areas in which ‘acid’ operates. As this goes on, and there is nothing to oppose it, the other ramifications will show themselves. Or put another way, the ramifications of the loss of spiritual identity and relationship to ‘transcendental solidity’ is showing up as a perverse will to ‘blend the races into one’. That this is happening is related to ‘acids’ that eat away at ‘distinction & hierarchy’ (in Weaver’s sense), and the SJW (that is: *you-plural*!) are deeply committed to these processes because the alternatives are unthinkable.

          I know, I know, even as I write this I am somewhat appalled by what I am saying. But it is my honest view and I have been working in this area for years now. You asked me to explain the principle area of activism of the SJW and I am ‘cutting directly to the chase’.

          In order to oppose the SJW one must arrive — ethically and morally — at another platform, and one that one can really believe in and defend intellectually. The individual races and cultures of the world must be seen as worthy of being protected and defended, and the entire notion of ‘universalism’ and ‘multiculturalism’ must be confronted. Not because of ‘hatred’ but because — allow me to say — of love and respect.

          To work through in detail all of the machinations of the present and those machinations that uphold it and propel it, is a difficult undertaking. You will have noticed — everyone who writes on this blog notices — that radical and difficult ideas are emerging in our present and are threatening the ‘established orders’. This is only at its beginning. Here, on this blog, are many conventional thinkers who have a very very difficult time breaking out of established patterns and of idées reçues. One reason at least that I have been so *hated and resented* is that I continue to push forward with this discomfiting ideas.

  2. I salute your total abstention. Yours and our current president’s. Impressive. I’m half Irish but do not have an addictive body type. Both my parents were tuberculars, so there was no smoking in my family. Nor did they drink.

    With one really funny exception. My Dad would get a gift boxed fifth of whiskey from his work every Christmas. It would go up in the hallway closet. Guests got it on occasion, I suppose. Or it would just sit there. Then my staunch Republican Dad heard somewhere (TIME magazine?) that Ike recommended a shot of whiskey every night to prevent (or treat?) the heart trouble from which he suffered in the late ’50s and early ’60s. (Who needs a Surgeon General when you have a real general dispensing medical advice to the nation?) So, my mother and father would dutifully go to the kitchen at bed time, stand at the kitchen counter and down their medicinal shot each. Which didn’t last long. Cooler heads and whiskey tasting like gasoline prevailed. My mother made it to 85, my one-lunged Dad to 90. Dang, maybe Ike was right?

    I worry about socialism being voted in and open borders. Pot’s a problem. People seem to want to have a society that looks like a Bruegel painting.

    • I have seen several sources that state that whiskey has more of the beneficial chemicals than red wine.
      https://www.businessinsider.com/the-6-healthiest-alcohols-you-should-be-drinking-2017-9

      As with pot, however, the benefits of such alcohols is at low levels, not ‘drunk as a skunk’ levels. This is one of the reasons people don’t want to use Marinol. You would think that people who needed ‘medical marijuana’ would line up for Marinol. I mean, it is prescription, your health insurance will pay for it, and (unlike smokable pot) you don’t become a prohibited person for firearms possession and you can probably drive. Do you know why? The medicinal dose of THC is so low that you don’t get high. The impairment If you take marijuana medicinally and you get high, you have overdosed. It is like being prescribed a Lortab once/day and taking 10 oxycontin saying “I need it for medicinal purposes”.

  3. That Ray Charles performance strikes me as ironic.

    They’re singing about getting stoned, and yet…I refuse to believe they were stoned while making that particular number as “tight” as it truly is. Oh yeah, I’ve heard and read about the baseball and basketball players, and other entertaining professional performers, doing amazing feats while being stoned. But no, I don’t buy that hype. Even truly stoned professionals noticeably lose their edge when doing what they are paid to do – which they do better than almost everyone else who pays attention could possibly do while at their most sober.

    I agree with you, Jack. But you will never stop me from laughing in response to seeing or hearing Cheech and Chong comedy work. “Earache my eye!” and “Horrendo Revolver.” Gawd, I’m old!

  4. Does that image look like the background in Obama’s portrait?

    Like Jack I have never used MJ. I figured the cigarettes I smoked were bad enough. It only took another 40 years to quit those.

  5. “Wow! Pot makes people who started smoking it like they were chewing gum when they were teens and kept doing it through college and their early twenties become less capable than they would have been if they didn’t? Who suspected that?”

    I often wished that I hadn’t smoked so much marijuana between the ages of 15 and 24. I quit at 24 and then finally went to college, Rochester Institute of Technology. And, even though I graduated at the top of my class in engineering, I always felt that the marijuana damaged my overall ability. I mean, the main reason I graduated at the top of my class was due to the fact I started college at an older age and was there to learn; so, I worked hard to to my best.

    So, even though I had a successful career as an engineer, I always thought about all those pot smoking years and wondered how much of an overall effect it had on my long-term potential.

  6. I don’t need drugs to reach an altered state of consciousness. The added bonus is I can stop the instant there is any alarm, and had more money for books that grabbed my imagination. I can think how sad it is that a faked mood or perceptive state is all you want or sacrifice everything for. Lack of ambition and imagination. We’d acted totally drunk and realized that the bottle’s seal was still unbroken. Use of drugs and overuse of alcohol are crutches, and don’t we all want to avoid that?

  7. I tend to agree with most of what you write about pot. It is also a gateway to the drug culture, which is socially murderous. Many of our current problems can traced directly to the stupidity of the 1960s’ “tune in, turn on, and drop out” battle cry from the likes of SDS, The Weather Underground, the anti-war movement, and the Black Nationalists.

    jvb

  8. Of late, many scientific studies have proven that THC and CBD have beneficial effects for use with patients.
    The government has received a patent for THC.
    They discovered the effectiveness of THC.
    They have caved to big Pharms who would suffer great loss.
    What does the government know that they are not sharing with the public.
    The government speaks out of both sides of it’s mouth.
    It was bad enough with Jeff Sessions in office. Thank God this phoney is gone!😎

    • THC and CBD can have a great positive impact. The issue is not that they are controlled because they are bad in and of themselves. It is that they are too easily abused which brings great harm to the person and to society in general.

      Alcohol is the same: good in small doses, terrible when abused. Tobacco has positive effects if not abused.

      Too much of anything will kill you, even water (no, not drowning: drink too much water too fast and you will die)

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