Saturday, October 27, 2007

Round Pegs In Round Holes

Suppose you have a machine that depends for its proper operation on wooden pegs in wooden holes. Say that it has been traditional, if wooden pegs were not available, that brass pegs were an accepted substitute. Now suppose the government outlawed the use of brass pegs and decreed that if you didn't have wooden pegs only gold pegs were acceptable. Would that be right?

What am I getting at? Brain chemistry.

The holes are receptors. The wooden pegs are the body's naturally made receptor fillers. The brass pegs are substances you imbibe (in one way or another) to make up for a lack in the bodies' natural chemistry. What would the gold pegs be? Dr. prescribed medicines.

Let us take the case of marijuana. Mice have been developed which do not naturally produce enough CB1 receptor fillers. They are genetically different. They have long term memories of fear situations. They live in fear and that fear is easily excited. Not a pleasant way to live. Modern medicine has developed substances that can relieve that constant fear. Doctors are allowed to prescribe such substances. However, marijuana can also fill those receptors and relieve constant fear and anxiety. We have made marijuana illegal even though there is no objective difference between the doctor prescribed medicine and marijuana (with respect to brain chemistry). Is that right?

This line of thought came to me in an e-mail discussion of Treatment Vs Recreation and Class War.

You can read more on this line of thought - I have been at it for six years - at the following articles:

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System
Addiction or Self Medication?
Genetic Discrimination
The War On Unpatented Drugs.
The Pain In The Brain
Addiction Is A Genetic Disease

and way more articles at:
The Nature Of Addiction

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Karridine said...

You are right about this, but-

'Scuze me...

Here's a hemp rope, lemme cut off 3 inches of it...


Ah! Where were we?

Gayle said...

Poor mice!

You raise a good point here, Simon. I have often felt that not letting people who are physically or mentally impaired access to Marijuana was wrong. I don't see how legallizing it for people in need of it can hurt anyone. Those who want it for their recreational purposes are going to get ahold of it anyway, and those who need it but obey the laws of the land will suffer, along with the animals being experimented on to come up with a drug that does the same thing marijuana does in the first place!

The human race is indeed a strange creature.