LETTER: A missing piece of the marijuana conversation

A glaringly missing piece of the public conversation about the legalization of marijuana is not about the drug, but the pattern of use.

A glaringly missing piece of the public conversation about the pending legalization of marijuana is not about the drug, but the pattern of use (if highly frequent), which is what makes it most commonly harmful. The immediate effects of various drugs are more unique in each case but the longer term pattern-of-use effects are not. When people regularly use a drug to turn down the discomfort of facing life, they are losing the only way we actually tend to change. We are less likely to eventually learn from experience, problem-solve and grow.

We all naturally moderate stress somewhat with momentary busyness or distraction, but using a drug turns it down for many hours and usually into sleep. Furthermore tranquilizers, narcotics, or more than a small dose of alcohol and marijuana also suppress dream sleep, where more critical sorting-out and processing occurs. People who use a drug regularly remain stuck, with habitual and emotionally immature reactions to the human situation as a learned early coping mechanism.

This pattern gets in the way of developing more effective ones. Who we really are is more about our personal and emotional development than it is about our level of formal education. This is not the only issue about marijuana but the one missing from the conversation. It is even more critical with respect to youth, who will self-select more often when vulnerable due to difficult brain chemistry and/or childhoods. Early use of drugs leads to earlier developmental stagnation with unconscious early childhood strategies more likely for life.

My comments are based on my own personal experience as a child of the ‘60s, including watching friends evolve, or not over the years, and the privilege of over 20 years of professional experience, in outpatient mental health.

Dr. Andre C. Piver, Procter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Permitting process pushes back completion for Slocan fibre-optic line

Work may not be done until summer 2021, more than a year after initial completion date

Stroke survivors lean on each other in Nelson

‘I’ve learned more about strokes from being in the group than I did from anyone else’

COLUMN: Screening will help take Sinixt people (and their drum) to Ottawa

‘Older Than The Crown’ plays Thursday at the Capitol Theatre

Fundraising campaign launched as the Nelson Women’s Centre moves forward

The organization needs to make up a $40,000 deficit

LETTERS: Reject Teck Frontier mine

Two letters from readers Tom Prior and Allan Scott

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Most Read