I really don't think it rocks for recreational use for all the reasons that the lame commercials on TV say it sucks... That being said, I also feel compelled to mention my biggest beef with the people who are against it for medicinal use. The following is all true. I promise. I am a scientist.
1. Pot cures epilepsy.
This is ancient knowledge.
According to Science magazine, ever since Heraclitus, who was around HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE JESUS, just to give you an idea of how old this wisdom is... anyway, ever since Heraclitus, the medical world has been privy to the knowledge that marijuana can be used to stop epileptic fits.
i.e., pot cures epilepsy.
Of course, there are stipulations. The patient must smoke every day. And I don't mean that they have to be stoners. Just one puff, which under regular usage, would stop having effects, would be enough to completely stop epileptic fits because enough brain activity would be inhibited to keep the circuitry in the brain in check.
2. Children under the age of 7 cannot get high.
That's right. This is because they have not yet developed the receptors that THC attaches to (cannabinoid receptors). Of course, this is not to say that it's ok to allow these kids to smoke or that if you are a pot-smoker you won't see adverse effects in your children's behavior (children of pot smokers tend to have abnormal thumb-sucking and temper-tantrum issues).
3. This is the kicker:
Usually, if someone has really bad epilepsy, you know, the kind that is a life-threat, where normal everyday life is impossible... The procedure to treat this "when nothing else works" is to CUT OUT THE MIDDLE OF THE PERSON'S BRAIN.
Yes. It's a standard "solution" for epilepsy that is used when "nothing else works;" it's called a callosectomy. hmmm... "nothing else works." At this point, I'm not going to go into detail about the effects of what this does to a person. In fact, these people are able to function pretty normally with a few serious side-effects. The important thing here is that this procedure is routinely done on children and adults. Even today. Is it just me, or does this seem barbaric and unbelievable to anyone else?
So why does it happen?
(In this picture, the corpus collosum is the C-shaped light material that the line is pointing at; this is what a corpus callosectomy removes, albeit usually only partially.)
Well, I'm just going to take a moment to mention the fact that the "few serious side-effects" that these people suffer from turn out to tell us a WHOLE LOT about the brain, about how one hemisphere works in relation to the other (because the corpus callosectomy is basically the removal of the middle of the brain, which consists of circuits connecting the left and right hemispheres). So these patients, once they've gotton the surgery, may potentially win their doctors a nobel prize. Brain sciences are big money-makers. And corpus callosectomy studies can really make you famous.
Anyway, God bless Canada. I just saw this article tonight, and it inspired me to write about my big beef (above). Anyway, even if America is going to take its sweet time in becoming more progressive, it seems that even the sciences are giving marijuana its due respects. Apparently, according to this Popular Science article, the incredibly renouned journal Neuroscience featured 200 articles about cannabinoids last year, whereas it published 0 ten years ago! And that's just one journal. As I mentioned above, I read about Heraclitus in Science magazine. It would be interesting to see how many articles that these other popular journals have published on the topic, but I have neither the time or the compulsion to investigate the matter on my own. The other two facts (above, #2 and #3) I deduced on my own from my studies in various cognitive neuroscience courses.
Newly marketed drugs mentioned in this article include a spritzer for pain-relief, a metabolism-booster, and an i.v. drug for inflammation. See? I knew there were healthy ways to make money off of people suffering from stuff.