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I want to begin this by saying I'm not the typical person who you'd expect to see write an article about why synthetic weed should be illegal. I'm not a "concerned housewife," I'm not straightedge, nor am I even a Republican voter.
Rather, I'm a drug user who has tried everything from crystal meth to heroin, experimental chemicals to good ol' ganja. For the most part, I believe that drugs should be legal but controlled.
This is because I know that most drugs have good sides to them that can benefit their users. Think of the following examples of how drugs can benefit us:
- Ecstacy has been shown to be an exceptionally effective cure for PTSD — and I personally credit it as the drug that saved my life from a personal hell known as psychotic C-PTSD.
- Medical marijuana is widely accepted as an effective and natural way to alleviate pain, improve anxiety symptoms, and also ease issues that come with radiation treatment.
- The US Army has even been known to give soldiers amphetamines as a way to ensure that they could stay awake for days and still do their jobs effectively.
But synthetic weed? No, that should be banned. Here's why synthetic weed, also known as spice, should be illegal — and why I, as a drug user, am the one to say it.
If we're going to look at the moral issue, it's really hypocritical of the US government to keep marijuana illegal — but allow the synthetic stuff.
First off, I want to point out that I can't stand legal hypocrisy. The US government can come up with a million reasons why they should keep marijuana illegal, but they can't come up with a single reason why synthetic weed should be illegal.
I'm sorry, but it's clearly BS. If you are going to make a safer, cheaper, and more natural substance illegal, you might as well stick to your "pro-health" platform and outlaw the more dangerous stuff, too.
Not making synthetic marijuana illegal is a blatant show of favoritism — and that suggests that the government might favor companies with potential for profitability over the peoples' health. (Shocking, right?)
If the government wants to keep marijuana illegal, they might as well make synthetic marijuana illegal too. After all, the official position seems to be that drugs are terrible for everyone, right?
But let's talk about the real reason why synthetic weed should be illegal...
The biggest reason why synthetic marijuana should be illegal is it's extremely dangerous. In fact, it's actually more dangerous than many other drugs that are currently illegal — including marijuana, LSD, and MDMA.
Synthetic weed has study after study denouncing it as dangerous, with serious side effects. Side effects include paranoia, seizures, hallucinations, permanent nerve damage, loss of consciousness, hypertension, and even heart attacks.
This isn't surprising. Synthetic cannabis is made using chemicals that stimulate cannabinoid receptors in the brain. However, unlike real cannabinoids, synthetic cannabis often has exaggerated or downright neurotoxic effects.
In other words, the main ingredients in spice are often poisons that attack your neurological system — and they also bind to the receptors that take in cannabinoids. Scarier still, these chemicals are shown to have a stronger bind to receptors than the real thing.
This means that the toxins stay in your system longer and that the effects are legitimately poisonous to your brain, nerves, and your overall body equilibrium. Much like with any other neurotoxin, exposure to these compounds can lead to diseases like Alzheimer's, cognitive impairment, or actual paralysis.
Hospitals have noted that synthetic marijuana-related hospitalizations are on the rise, with many of the patients getting treatment displaying signs of permanent damage.
Marijuana's active ingredients are not neurotoxins, but the chemicals found in spice are. This means that they do damage — permanent damage. Hospital directors who have been following the synthetic marijuana trends have claimed to see a number of serious issues show up in regular smokers, including the following:
- Premature stroke
- Permanent damage to cognitive skills
- Permanent paralysis
- Semi-permanent or permanent psychosis
- Permanent damage to your kidneys, brain, and heart
Additionally, it's statistically far easier to overdose and die on spice than it is on marijuana. Statistics show that not a single overdose death happened on marijuana — but overdose deaths due to synthetic marijuana have continued to climb.
The sheer number of deaths alone should by why synthetic weed should be illegal.
Another reason why synthetic weed should be illegal is due to the low LD50.
From a toxicological standpoint, the amount it would take for someone to get a lethal dose of synthetic marijuana is also way higher than the lethal dose of marijuana. To illustrate why synthetic weed should be illegal, allow me to explain the toxicology concept of LD50.
LD50 is a measurement that toxicologists use to determine how much exposure to a chemical compound will result in 50 percent of the people exposed to it dying.
The higher the LD50 ratio, the less toxic the chemical is. That being said, the old toxicology saying is "the dose makes the toxin," so it's important to remember that what's toxic in large levels can be beneficial in small levels.
LD50 can also be written by how much of a chemical per body weight it would take to kill. So, it could be written as 1mg/1kg instead. Studies have shown that many synthetic marijuana compounds have LD50s that are attainable in a single joint.
The LD50 rate of regular marijuana is 1:40,000. This means that, in order for 50 percent of users to die, they would have to smoke around 40,000 times the amount found in a single standard joint in the span of 15 minutes.
In other words, it's very deadly stuff.
From a drug user's standpoint, the biggest reason why synthetic marijuana should be illegal is because there's no benefit to using it.
Heroin can be used as a painkiller. Ketamine has been shown to help elevate moods. MDMA is a PTSD cure. Medical marijuana has a huge amount of perks to offer. LSD has been shown to improve creativity. Just about every single drug out there has been shown to do something beneficial that makes it warrant legalization.
But faux weed? Nothing.
Aside from a terrible high, synthetic marijuana offers absolutely no benefit to smokers — none! This means that, from a commercial, social, and health standpoint, this drug offers nothing positive and an insanely high level of loss.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why synthetic weed should be illegal.