Monday, 14 October 2013

Are you high?

Just based on the title I can already hear the stoners complaining.  "Oh great, here goes Doc preaching about pot again!  We get it!  You hate weed!  Get over it, you sanctimonious prat!"

Congratulations, you can read.  Yes, it's another post about pot.  No, I haven't changed my mind.  I still think recreational marijuana is stupid and dangerous. 

"No it's not!  It's safe when used correctly!"

Maybe, but who the hell uses it "safely"? Certainly not the people I see. 

I heard over the box (the citywide emergency services communication system) that we were getting three car accident victims at the same time.  It seems a car veered into oncoming traffic and hit a van head on.  They brought me a passenger from the van and two people who were in the car.  

The first woman (from the van) had a concussion and some broken glass in her foot.  The driver of the car that hit the van had several lacerations around her eye.  The passenger in the car (her boyfriend) had a broken leg and a lacerated spleen.  

So what's the point?  Well I'm glad you asked.  If you were paying attention (and are not high), you've probably already guessed that the driver of the car was high on marijuana, something she failed to tell me even when asked directly about drug and alcohol use.  

And if it wasn't bad enough that she caused her boyfriend's broken leg (and the other woman's injuries), apparently she was so high that she didn't bother to put her 4-year old daughter in her car seat.   The little girl suffered a depressed skull fracture, and I'm not sure if she will survive. 

Recreational marijuana use is stupid.  IT IS STUPID, and I see this kind of thing on a regular basis.  Is anyone really surprised that I feel this way about pot?  Anyone?  After everything I've seen, how could I possibly think anything different?  I freely welcome any marijuana advocate to tell me why I should change my stance on pot.  If you can convince me, I solemnly swear I'll buy you a big bag of weed. 

(Though it'll probably be dandelions and ragweed.)

30 comments:

  1. It always makes me sick when I hear about a parent who endangers their child's life like this I hope the poor girl survives this and finds a home with people who know how to raise a child

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  2. I agree that pot is stupid, but it doesn't seem to me like it is significantly worse than alcohol. Is it? (And if it is, how so?)

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    1. Either are equally stupid if you use them and then get into a car and drive.

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    2. this is not based on anything scientific, merely anecdota. but I think they would be around the same level of stupid (i.e. fine in moderation, in a safe place) if they were treated the same. but overall, pot is seen as way less dangerous, so people do things while high that they wouldn't necessarily do while drunk. I had a friend who drove stoned all the damn time. granted, she drove drunk. and at least once on shrooms. but the thing is, she thought that driving stoned wasn't an impairment. she KNEW she was being a dumbass when she drove drunk. but when she was stoned, it wasn't a big deal to her. I see that attitude a lot.

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    3. I'm not sure if this is true or not but apparently pot can increase the risk of some mental disorders. Like I said I don't know if this is true because I'm not a doctor but if it is then that's a pretty good reason why it's worse

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    4. Pretty sure that's only if you were... I think the word I'm looking for is predisposed? Sorry if it's not, got a horrible head cold, possibly tonsillitis, and barely slept last night as a result

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    5. From what I've seen, I think we should treat pot like we do beer, and warn children of the dangers of both.

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    6. If you have a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, pot can exacerbate the symptoms. That's why some people get really paranoid when high. Considering my family's mental history, I won't be trying pot anytime soon.

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  3. Child endangerment or vehicular homicide charges are going to suck.

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  4. Doc, if you don't mind me asking, what country did it happen in? If you can't say, then keep us updated (if you can) about the little girl and the charges the mother faces and the outcome.

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    1. Are YOU high? You know I can't (and won't) tell you that. ;)

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    2. Am I allowed to guess on here? Or do I have to email you?

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    3. No, you're not allowed to guess here. Any speculation about my whereabouts will be immediately deleted. You are welcome to email me, but I can assure you any guesses will be summarily ignored. Cheers.

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  5. Agreed. Pot is dangerous and stupid. All party drugs are. I've been in chat rooms where people talking about how great it is to smoke weed and how much they want a fix of E, but...its stupid. And dangerous. And who knows what sort of long term side-effects they'll get if they have too much. As they say with YOLO, we *do* only have one life so we should take care of it. Not go out and party and take drugs and risks with life. Because you could ruin your life..or another's life.

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  6. I'm not an avid advocate/user of drugs, but this is like saying that (recreational) consumption of ice cream is 'bad', because all the instances you've encountered have been harmful. This behaviour is not necessarily the effect of the drug directly, as choking or sore throat is not the effect of ice cream. This depends on the user and their consumption. Drugs (as ice cream) can be used recreationally with care, safely, and without such terrible results. Even high you're pretty much aware of your actions, so this was not the drug, but the recklessness of the user. As with alcohol, there are many adverse effects and bad instances. However, clearly not as many engage an assault on alcohol use (unlike abuse... surprise, surprise), whereas any use of weed is abuse by default. I fail to see the logic.
    I would definitely accept a bag of dandelions though!

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    1. You just compared marijuana ice cream. Are you serious?

      What you fail to comprehend is that people who are impaired don't and can't know that they are impaired. And no matter how much ice cream you eat, it will not impair your judgment, unlike marijuana (unless you're diabetic).

      Sorry, no bag of dandelions for you.

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    2. Hey Doc, although I probably know the answer already, have you ever consumed marijuana? Up till not so long ago, I hadn't and was quite close minded about it because all the people I saw who were stoned were acting stupid in some way or another. Recently however, I've noticed that the people who act stupid while under the influence are probably not that much better when clear headed.
      I've started smoking and you know what? I like it, it relaxes me and makes me feel good. For those reasons, I will not drive while high. I could maybe somewhat deal with that intense good feeling but I'm way too relaxed to be driving. Some times I can't even walk straight (mostly when I was already tired beforehand) so no way I'd go and drive that steel monster around.
      Unfortunately you're work puts you in contact with people on their worst day. Maybe it's because they were stupid, maybe some one else was or it might have just been a second of inattention but the reason doesn't really matter because you have that person in your OR and you have to fix her up. You see the worse in people and that's unfortunate.
      You probably won't find, waiting for you to stitch him up, the guy who'll smoke a joint in the evening, knowing he won't have to leave the house later on, because that guy won't get in a car wreck unless some one crashes in his house.
      So yes, weed is dangerous. Alcohol is dangerous, heck driving is dangerous. If you're not 100% concentrated on the road ahead of you and your surroundings, you might just ram that little kid going after his ball.
      Doc, you won't see me in the OR because I'm aware of the dangers of marijuana, just as I am of the dangers of alcohol, and I won't do anything to put myself or others in any more danger.
      p.s. You know when you're impaired unless you really don't want to and those who think that their capabilities aren't impaired while high are just plain stupid asshats.

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  7. I agree that pot use is stupid. Even though I've used it myself, I know that most people abuse it and become psychologically addicted to it. I never drove while I was high, and I haven't smoked pot in over a year.

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  8. I hope you realize that, working in a hospital as a trauma surgeon, you are pretty much guaranteed to end up with the stupid results of any decision in your hands. This woman was not some idiot stoner, she was just a plain idiot, and I know for a fact that any mother, high or not, with a modicum of common sense would ensure the safety of their child and I speak from experience. Marijuana is not harmful, the stupid people who do idiotic stuff and use marijuana as a scapegoat for their bad decisions are. It's not the pot, it's the user.
    If you delete system32 on your PC, is it your computer's fault? No, you made the bad decision, your computer did not make you.

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    1. Marijuana is not harmful? Are you serious? People who are impaired DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE IMPAIRED. That's fact. So don't sit there and think that a good mother will strap her child in even when she's high. Marijuana, just like any other drug (alcohol included), makes you do stupid things. It's people like you that make it even more dangerous because you wrongly think it isn't.

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    2. "So don't sit there and think that a good mother will strap her child in even when she's high."
      and, just to reiterate, (not to Doc, obviously, but in general) THERE IS NO GOOD MOTHER IN THAT SITUATION, because a good mother wouldn't drive with her child while she was high, strapped in or not. Marijuana might not be INHERENTLY harmful (and even that is debateable), but that doesn't mean it's not harmful, period.

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    3. A "good" mother would be much less likely to smoke marijuana when she has a 4 year old child.

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    4. My dad has always smoked weed, for various reasons, and he is smart about it. He always smokes it at night, after he's come home and won't be driving for another 10 hours, and he doesn't ever smoke enough to get noticeably high. And even as a teenager, he never did any really dumb shit while high, because he knew that marijuana makes you impaired, even if you don't know it. So Doc, while you might say that marijuana is harmful, it's a symptom rather than the cause. In the right hands it will not do harm. In the right hands alcohol will not do harm. Please explain the difference.

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  9. Did the little girl make it?

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  10. Doc, I have to agree with you about recreational marijuana... former RN here.
    Proponents claim that people are "as impaired" as they are after drinking. Thing is, we know by lab tests (and lots of studies) how to tell if someone had had too much to drink. Deductions can be made by the size of the person and how much they've had to drink as to the level of their impairment.

    I was a daily pot smoker in high school (a long time ago!) but did not smoke so much that I was Cheech and Chong-ing it in my classes. I also quit any kind of of consumption when I finally noticed that my asthma was worse when I smoked.

    Until there is a legit way to quantify "how much is too much." the use of marijuana for recreational use needs to be restricted. I have no problem with medical marijuana, but it also goes back to how much is too much, and how can we tell when someone is impaired. Hopefully a lab rat somewhere is working on a nice, accurate blood test that can tell us when a pot smoker has had too much.

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  11. But for what reason would we want to or need to quantify how much pot was consumed? For DWI purposes? Now like yourself caligirl, I have not partaken in pot in about 17 years ( I was an early starter, and didn't do it long) but my memory is as clear as Crystal that I knew when I was impaired and by how impaired I was (the more impaired, the better)! To suggest that some one does not know, and it isn't obvious (despite my desire to fool my parents they knew) I am entering into nursing,and my sister is a critical care peds nnurse. Every nurse now or future nurses I've spoken to personally, wants at a minimum for pot to become legalized medically. I personally want it to become decriminalized entirely, and made available as a medication.

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  12. This is why I can't get behind the whole legalize marijuana movement. Maybe its not any worse than alcohol, but people are STILL drinking and driving. If people can't understand that as it is, I'm skeptical that they will understand that while they're high.

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  13. Do not do drugs or etoh and drive. If you do drugs or etoh at home and stay there, what is the problem? Logic Doc, try it sometime.

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    1. I see you're making similar comments on several of my drug-related posts. I doubt you'll ever read this, but maybe I'm wrong.

      Your advice would be great if people actually followed it. BUT THEY DON'T. What they do is smoke marijuana, get in the car, and kill (or nearly kill) people. If you don't see that as a problem, then there is little else I can say to you.

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  14. Wonderful blog! I certainly adore how it is straightforward on my eye balls as well as the particulars are properly written. I bookmarked your site! how to apply for a medical marijuana card.

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