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

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

PHOTOS: Neighbourhood stroll during a pandemic

Jackie Zelt went looking for people in a time of isolation

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

District reports case of COVID-19 in Elkford

Owner Ahmed El-Maddah requests any customer who visited pharmacy on March 17 self-isolate

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read