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A Spiritual Perspective on Legalizing Marijuana

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A new article in our “Controversy Corner”: Allan Y. Cohen, Ph.D., longtime spokesperson for Meher Baba’s message on drugs, answers questions raised as marijuana gains increasing acceptance in the United States as a legal, recreational drug.

Care to share?

One Response to A Spiritual Perspective on Legalizing Marijuana

  • Deborah Tyler says:

    Thank you Allan. I have worked for nearly 30 years in County Mental and Behavioral Health as a Conservator and Deputy Public Guardian. My authority to get treatment for, take care and protect, gravely disabled mentally ill individuals emanates from the civil statute that informs and describes the parameters of that authority. Some 25 years ago a condition called Dual Diagnosis was identified and has been expanded organically to describe those individuals with a major mental illness that co exists with a substance use disorder; be it drug addiction of all types and alcoholism. Intuitively it was clear to clinicians and those in close contact with these individuals that the use of marijuana never produced a positive or improved outlook for that dually diagnosed individual. As you say, with the normalization and legalization of marijuana, we see its designer properties with THC levels many times higher than the substances of the sixties. Corporatization of marijuana as a high profit industry has made it main stream in California and virtually free from criminal penalties for the user compared to past decades. In fact there seems to an inverse relationship between the ubiquitousness of it and the greater deterioration of those mentally ill people who are able to procure it. Large increases in lung cancer diagnoses in young people, increased numbers of crisis unit visits and involuntary detentions exist because marijuana has a generally deleterious effect on brain functioning respiratory health. If someone has schizophrenia the use of marijuana produces a temporary calm and spaciness but long term worsening of both “positive” ( voices, paranoia, confusion) and negative symptoms ( apathy, indifference to personal hygiene and interactions with others etc.) Marijuana is so often laced with very bad drugs such as methamphetamine and that nasty drug produces nothing good and almost everything bad in terms of rapid cognitive deterioration, intense addiction and craving and anti social behavior almost upon the first few uses. I have used the inspiration I got from following Meher Baba since 1970 to help my clients avoid the use of marijuana despite the apparent current onslaught of “acceptability.” “Harmful spiritually, mentally and physically” as Meher Baba said of “drugs” in the sixties continues to be prophetic in endless ways. Deborah Tyler

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