I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Smoke pot, live longer

"Recreational drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are responsible for an estimated 10,000-20,000 American deaths per year....While approximately 10,000 per year die from the effects of illegal drugs, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that an estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs which, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects."

From "Recreational Drugs Far Less Likely to Kill You than Prescribed Drugs"

In other words, your odds for living a longer life are better if you are a schmecker, taking on a number, on the pine, or a user of other such goods than if you are prescribed drugs at a hospital. Pass the reefer for the good of your health?!?!?


Emily said...

You are using selected data. Someone can say anything if he/she has the facts that look good without the rest of the info. How many people do prescribed drugs help in comparison to how many they hurt? And what about w/ recreational? And the risks w/ recreational come w/ little substantial gain if they work "properly" whereas people who take prescribed drugs (especially for serious medical conditions) have much more to gain in comparison to lose.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Isn't all data "selected"???

Melody said...

I think what Emily is saying is that your interpretation of the facts leaves something to be desired.

If someone dies from complications with the medicine that was previously the only thing keeping them alive it is a lot different than an person, who would otherwise be healthy, dying from a coaine od.

Plus, what percentage of the population has to take medication at some point in their lives as compared to the percentage on drugs?

If 30,000 people take recreational drugs and there are 10,000-20,000 deaths from it in a year, while 1,000,000 people end up on properly administered medication and 106,000 die from it...well that's still not great for the medicated, but it's no where near as bad as being on drugs.

I think that's what Emily is trying to say. Incidentally, it's what I think too.

Emily said...

Yes! I'm not alone on this!

Jonathan Erdman said...

Hhhhhmmmmm.....since posting favorably on pot smoking I have received another vote in support of my Presidential run.....

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ok, here's my question:

If an angel from God told you that intaking illegal drugs would bring you closer with God, would you do it?????

Melody said...

What does that have to do with anything?

Emily said...

Are you telling us that an angel came to you? Did he say something like, "Dude. Chill. Take some of this. Peace."

Emily said...

Jon: If an angel from God told you that intaking illegal drugs would bring you closer with God, would you do it?????

Okay, realistically I don't see this happening. It seems to go against God's nature. And I wasn't being anti non-prescription drugs earlier (even thought I'm not for them). I was just saying the limited information you provided did not adequately show the big picture.

Anonymous said...

I work at your average long term care facility (nursing home), and have a strong opinion about the benefit of prescribed drugs, but I will save that for later...what I would like to know is this: how MANY drugs do you the reader think that the average elderly person takes on a daily basis??

Kelly Erdman

Emily said...


Jonathan Erdman said...


How does smoking pot "go against God's nature"? That seems like a radical statement!

Melody said...

Ten? I have no idea really.

Melody said...

How does smoking pot "go against God's nature"? That seems like a radical statement!

Because it doesn't seem like God's nature to want us to destroy our brain cells?

Plus, you didn't specify pot, just illegal drugs, so you could be talking about meth or crack or acid. All of which are more destructive and some drugs can even make people homocidal...so that would definately be promlematic to obeying God...you know?

Jonathan Erdman said...

If a drug (such as pot) is used in moderation, it does not have long term damages to health. I imagine that regular rounds of McDonald's cheeseburgers damage the body more than a little pot here and there, don't you think???? But I would not say that eating McDonald's cheeseburgers goes against God's nature. I would just say that it is not a good thing to do if you want to honor God with how you use your body.

Melody said...

If a drug (such as pot)is used in moderation

Yeah, this would be kinda key here. 1. You're talking about pot. 2. Moderation is seldom, if ever, a factor in drug use...even when it's pot.

I'd also be interested in knowing what constitutes moderation and how that compares to the way pot is typically used, but I'm guessing you don't have facts to back up your statement...that it's probably just so much propaganda that's being passed around.

If you do have facts I'd be interested in seeing them.

I mean, it's cute to compair it to cheeseburgers, as if someone who eats a cheeseburger every day has the same kind problems as someone who is addicted to drugs, but if you'd like to take a couple steps back into reality I don't think you'll find much to support that comparison.

I imagine that regular rounds of McDonald's cheeseburgers damage the body more than a little pot here and there, don't you think????

1. No I don't think that, at all. Because the fat from a cheeseburger can be worked off and if the rest of a person's meals were healthy they could have a cheeseburger every day and it wouldn't hurt them. And because people get addicted to pot, but I've never seen a cheeseburger addict going through withdrawel. I've also never seen someone not getting full enough of their cheeseburger and move up to a porterhouse with five sides every meal.

2. You're comparing someone who regular eats cheeseburgers to someone who has pot "here and there" - so let's say a weekender, who only smokes pot every other weekend.

If you're going to compare occasional pot smoking you should compare it to occasional burger eating. But let's suspend reality and go with your comparison...your comparison still has someone eating a lot of burgers before they math up with the occasional pot smoker.

Even so, lets roll with your comparison. I had a few friends like that, to the best of my knowledge the worst that happened to them was that they screwed up on the their job the next day. Or ended up sleeping with a few people they didn't intend to sleep with.

Still not as bad as a daily burger?

Oh well, and of course since after a while the high you get from a little bit of pot doesn't do the trick, so some of them started doing more pot and then, when that wasn't good enough, graduated themselves to other drugs.

So you know, they ended up in jail scratching out their eyes and going blind...or they shot up in the same house as their babies and traumatized their children so badly that they cried when mummy and daddy said they'd be home from prison soon...or they ODed and no one found the body for ten days because they didn't have friends or family any more...or they waisted seven years of their life before seeing their friends die made them decide to shape up.

Your right, skip the burgers, we'll all have pot in moderation and be happy. Because that's totally the way it goes down in real life and we can honor God with that.

Kenji said...

The only person I've ever known to have serious issues with cheeseburgers is Mr. Lunt from Veggie Tales.

But then, he's not even a person.

BTW, does anyone have a cheeseburger, I wouldn't mind one right now. :)

Emily said...

Jon, we know you don't really advocate using recreational drugs. You're just having fun with us, even though you might deny it.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I mean, it's cute to compair it to cheeseburgers, as if someone who eats a cheeseburger every day has the same kind problems as someone who is addicted to drugs, but if you'd like to take a couple steps back into reality I don't think you'll find much to support that comparison.

I think it's more than a cute comparison. I'm actually a bit surprised you didn't take the analogy a bit more seriously. I know that you are someone who realizes how important food is for the body. Food can, absolutely!, be an addiction with the same level of destructive force as pot. The effects on the body are different, of course, but both are still destructive. Also, there are many, many people in America addicted to junk food. It is part of a whole lifestyle.

I think you are assuming a difficult burden of proof here, and it is not unlike the teetotalers. It is really hard, however, to establish the immorality of something that can be used in moderation with little to no ill effects. Sure, there are people who abuse pot and other drugs, but that doesn't mean that the use is wrong. There are people who abuse alcohol and cheeseburgers, but abuse of something does not mean that its use is wrong. Almost everything in life can be abusive to us if used to excess.

Melody said...

I'm actually a bit surprised you didn't take the analogy a bit more seriously. I know that you are someone who realizes how important food is for the body.

It takes years and years of food abuse to even come close to equalling the damage of just a couple years of drug abuse.

Plus, the food you eat only hurts you...and I mean maybe the family members who are slowed down by you or the strangers who sit next to you on the plane or at the theater...but honestly, massively overweight family member with a serious health condition or a family member who never keeps promises, who doesn't remember to do meet you places, who is willing to trade time with you for a joint?

Is this really the comparison you want to make? Because I've known people with the hidiously overweight family member...they have their bad days...like when dad can't ride the coasters with them because he doesn't fit. That's a bummer. It isn't the same.

And for most fast food eaters it will never ever get to that point and even if it does they will be well into their 40s-50s.

For most drug users it will get to the point where they love drugs more than their family or where they barely function physically...and it will get there fast and it will start with pot.

It is not the same level. Not of addiction, not of destruction.

It is really hard, however, to establish the immorality of something that can be used in moderation with little to no ill effects.

Define moderation. How little do you have to use to recieve no ill effects? Are there even people out there who would want to use that little?

chris van allsburg said...

As a former pothead, who quit after Jesus saved him, I can only humbly submit that Christians should not smoke marijuana. Leaving any supposed medical issue aside, I can say that smoking marijuana results in drunkenness. And drunkenness is condemned in Scripture (Gal. 5). In fact, drunkards are condemned and will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9-11). Strong words, indeed.

It only takes one hit--and a person is stoned. One glass of wine, however, can be heartwarming, cheerful and good (see Psalm 104:15).

The issue at stake here is not health benefits, or whether or not one thing is less bad for you than another. The issue is control. We are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. We are called to be sober (and sober minded).

The fact that hallucinigenic drugs were/are used in witchcraft and demon worship/consultation should be enough to send us running away from mind-altering drugs.

Some drugs are good: they promote control, or ease of, the mind. Pot might promote ease of the mind (but really it makes many people paranoid), but it doesn't promote control.

Just picture someone stoned. Jesus walks into the room and wants to talk. Not the hippy-cool Jesus, the holy, flaming sword coming out of his mouth coming to judge the living and the dead Jesus. Feeling good? Rather be sober? Good.

I quit pot after 1 1/2 years of being converted. I wrestled with the issue b/c I had Christian friends who (lied) told me it was "okay," and the the LORD (the Lord God Almighty!) wanted me to "have a good time."

After being confronted by a real friend, and reading Galatians 5, I realized smoking pot was just me and my flesh "having a good time." So I quit. Actually, on Epiphany, January 6, 1996.

I had one mishapp a year and a half later with the old friend, and made a decision: I was either going to be a pothead, or I wasn't. I wanted Jesus, so I decided I wasn't going to be a pothead. And praise God for his grace! All to him I owe.

I don't suspect many of you good folks on the Theos Project would venture into pot smoking. But I really don't see a middle ground for the moderation argument when it comes to pot.

I recommend Doug Wilson's article, One Toke Over the Line. It is very helpful.


Jonathan Erdman said...


Thanks for your thoughts. Fair points to consider.

Alex said...

Okay, listen up, kids... Before you go and judge, and hop on the media's propaganda trolley, you need to learn the true facts about marijuana. As far as other drugs are concerned, yes, they are extremely bad for you, and yes, they should be legal. Cannabis, however is not in the same category. Cannabis contains, as most of you should know already, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The chemical compound of THC is C21 H30 O2. The effect that THC has on your brain, is the assistance in your brain's production of dopamine, which is your brain's natural stress relieving, happiness inducing chemical that your brain produces by itself. THC only causes your brain to produce more dopamine, which is why most marijuana smokers are happy, laughing, and carefree.

WOW, you just took in a lot of information! However, there is much more where that came from!

The myth of marijuana "killing brain cells" came from a government funded and assigned scientific research study, issued by a scientist by the name of Dr. Robert Heath. When Heath conducted his study, the tests "proved" that marijuana kills brain cells. When this was released in newspapers and on televisions and radios, no one questioned it, but now that years have passed, more inquisitive people have started to question this study, and thank God they did!

As it turns out, Dr. Heath conducted a test on a group of only four Rhesus monkeys, and claimed to have issued 30 joints a day to these monkeys. After just 90 days, all four of the monkeys had suffered atrophy and died. This seemed a little fishy to many people who truly looked into it, and it took NORML and Playboy years of suing and question to get the real facts of the study, and they created a report of the information they had obtained.

"Four monkeys were strapped into chairs with transparent plastic boxes surrounding their heads. The head chamber was sealed so that the smoke being pumped in wouldn't be lost. This also meant that the carbon monoxide couldn't escape either. Instead of the 30-joints-a-day dosage that Heath had reported, the monkeys were given the equivalent of 63 joints in five minutes, every day, for three months.

The poor monkeys were being suffocated for five minutes at a time, on a daily basis, over a period of three months. After which they were killed so that their brains could be autopsied, and the dead brain cells caused by carbon monoxide poisoning were attributed to marijuana. This was Ronald Reagan's "reliable scientific" source."

So as it turns out, marijuana was not the cause of the monkeys' deaths or brain cell loss, but the asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning were at fault.

I know it's a hard thing to do for most people who have already been brainwashed by the government, media, D.A.R.E. (a joke), and parents, but you must have an open mind, and you MUST learn the true facts on marijuana before you talk falsely or negatively towards it. As you see it is the government, law enforcement, media, and uninformed individuals, not the pot smokers, who are truly Dazed and Confused.

1. Does Marijuana Really Kill Brain Cells?

Jonathan Erdman said...


Thanks for taking the time to share that information with us. Personally I have a hard time justifying marijuana being illegal.

Many happy returns to you.


Alex said...


Not a problem! As I am a responsible pot smoker, I see it as my job to inform the uninformed about "The Big, Bad, Marijuana!" I've created multiple "Legalize This!" reports for class, and I'm considering posting them on the web to spread the truth. If you have any suggestions or possible web pages you could post on, I'd be glad to email you a copy! If you're interested, contact me at my email. It is: "AlexWerkmeister712@Gmail.com".

Jonathan Erdman said...


I just heard something interesting on this topic on NPR this morning. They were discussing how California may legalize marijuana, which might lead to many other states legalizing it. Other states are already following California's lead in legalizing medical marijuana. I didn't realize it, but apparently a person can get a prescription for medical marijuana to help their mood....is that the case?....that's interesting because doesn't anyone who use marijuana take it to help their mood? Or enhance their mood in some way?

I've been volunteering in the local county jail for a year teaching creative writing. In that time, I have thought a good deal more about drug use and addictions. I think marijuana is more like drinking beer or smoking, and I believe it should be legalized. I think it's a fairly obvious case, actually. Harder drugs are a bit more difficult to understand, in terms of what policy should be. Hard drugs like heroin and meth really destroy lives and harm people on a whole other level. Still, our current approach, to criminalize and punish addicts, is absolutely inhuman and deplorable. Addicts may need to be taken out of society, for their own good and the good of their children; but locking them up in cages is very wrong. Not only does it not work in most cases, but it's deeply dehumanizing and immoral.