Apr 14, 2015 MarkM commented on Is Marijuana Addictive?.

Thanks for what is one of the better researched and factual articles I've seen written on the subject of marijuana addiction. Your efforts to research into DSM-V definitions, and compare and contrast the views in the community do a good job at defining the landscape of public (and institutional) opinion.

That being said, what does seem to be lacking from your analysis, is a detailed contrast to other addictive substances, how they are viewed by the DSM-V and public, and a view of their relative rates of addiction and (perhaps more importantly) harm. For example, given you start your piece with an anecdote involving coffee, what about pointing out that the DSM-V actually EXCLUDES caffeine from any kind of addiction criteria? Is this fair? Is it obfuscation?

Alternatively, how does that oft-cited "9%" addiction number of marijuana compare to that of alcohol? Are they being judges using the same "addiction" criteria, or has the change in definitions since the '90s affected the reliability of that 9% number? Lastly, what is the relative harm to people addicted to these substances?

As other's have pointed out, you do some good research, but you stop short and lump an important set of data into the paragraph that starts "Considering all this, let's say the 9 percent addictiveness claim is a bit shaky..." While some have found this offensive, I just view it as stopping short of an article that is fully comprehensive. How shaky? Where and in what context are people seeking "help" for addiction? Are these people otherwise ok, or are many of them depressed (which would elicit similar symptoms to marijuana addiction)?

Anyways. More power to you. Hope you have the chance to do a follow-up!
Nov 3, 2014 MarkM commented on What Smoking Weed Does to Teen Brains.
Kelly- I don't mean to be a jerk, but you make some statements that are inaccurate and misleading in this article. You should really provide links for the articles you cite (http://www.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657…), to encourage cross checking of your statements.

For example, you state the following about the Duke paper: "Studies were performed periodically throughout their lives, and were carefully controlled to ensure test subjects did not have any other drug or alcohol addictions or psychological disorders, and were not high at the time of the test. They found that those who used pot more than once weekly before age 18 displayed more severely impaired intelligence, slower reaction times, shorter attention spans, and poorer listening skills than those who began using marijuana after age 18."

Before saying more, a definition of clinical dependence from the DSM-V manual where the researchers defined their qualifiers - "There is a pattern of repeated self-administration that can result in tolerance, withdrawal, and compulsive drug-taking behavior." Read more here or anywhere else (http://www.4shared.com/office/Qm28z-8H/D…) but the bar is pretty high for this diagnosis (aka TOTAL POTHEADS *who have resulting problems*)

Your statement is inaccurate/untrue for a few reasons.

1. They demonstrated controls for other addictions, and that presence of other addictions did not affect their overall conclusion. BUT, they DID NOT exclude these individuals from their study as you suggest.

2. They show that people who used pot weekly before 18, and are continuing to use on a frequent basis at the age of 38 (Also, 2+ clinical diagnoses of dependence over the years of the study), demonstrate reduced IQ that persists even after stopping use. (Aside: this effect, btw, is ~7-8 IQ points, the error of an IQ test is likely 3.5-4, although they do not include this info in their study).

3. When considering ALL participants, which includes those clinically diagnosed as dependent 1, 2, & 3 times, they see reduction of "impaired intelligence, slower reaction times, shorter attention spans, and poorer listening skills." The individuals diagnosed as "clinically dependent" is where the majority of the statistical strength of their conclusions comes from. This is NOT, by ANY MEASURE AT ALL, the same as "...those who used pot more than once weekly before age 18".

Sorry for the long note, but I thought someone should say that this study isn't concluding or showing what the media has been saying. Is marijuana use at a clinically dependent level bad for you in these ways? Probably yes (almost definitely). Is it even worse when use starts before the age of 18, probably yes. BUT, I'm pretty sure this is not what you have stated here, and a correction should be issued if I read this study correctly.

But, the statement of "weekly" before the age of 18? That's almost definitely wrong based off of my reading...
Oct 31, 2013 MarkM commented on Obama Mocks Climate Change Hecklers.
My god this is fucking dumb. I mean, don't get me wrong, the XL pipeline project shouldn't be moving forward, and attention needs to be brought to that. In that regard, good for the protestors, however obnoxious they may be (It's their job in this case, after all).

But is the president being dismissive? Callous? Are you fucking kidding me? He's trying to talk about one issue, and he's being interrupted. He's telling people in the audience who are booing that "Ahhh no no, it's OK" - i.e. NOT BEING A DICK, or otherwise allowing or encouraging disrespect for the protestors (despite their lack of respect of his own goals for his speech). He then tries to BUILD A BRIDGE to the protestors - "We had that the climate change rally back in the summer!" - saying that, YES, he's generally on their side. He was fucking smiling for god's sake!

I mean, Ansel, What would you have done that would have been better? Not finished your speech? Invited them on stage? Take a few minutes to detail their concerns and your reasoning for your course of action? Remember, you're their for a particular reason (healthcare, btw... also reasonably important, even if you believe the only reason he cares is his "legacy"). So really... tell us.
Sep 6, 2013 MarkM commented on Post-PAX Shitstorm Report.
I just read through all the articles posted in the discussion above, and while I empathize with the initial reaction to the comic, it's awfully demonizing to assume that it was ill intended. As this Mike fellow said, he regrets his reaction to the criticism he received, and he's trying to be better. That's really all that I can ask from someone who fucks up. While he's had a few more run-ins with being ignorant and stupid, that's just an area he's got to work on. None of those occasions seem purposefully hurtful, but were insensitive at times when they were reactionary. The full burden of the internets commentary on someone's mistakes is probably hard to handle deftly.

I really wish him the best, and hope he continues to strive to be better.

At the same time, to echo other people in these comments. Those people who chose to continue to demonize people who ARE TRYING to apologize and be human - You're actively destroying the people who are our best hope for reconciliation, forgiveness, and education on the subject. I say "are trying" because changing the way you react and speak, particularly on sensitive issues, CAN TAKE YEARS. Sure, I get it, "What do we want? Change! When do we want it? NOW!"... but understand that change is OCCURING NOW, but you don't jump from point A-->B in a day or a year, it takes a lot of time. Small changes do seem to have occurred in Mike's perspective, and you should be thankful of that much shift at all. Most people, just keep on truckin'....
Feb 5, 2013 MarkM commented on What Do You Think of the Fast & Furious 6 Trailer?.

You're really missing out on one of the best movies if you skipped #3. F&F: Tokyo Drift is one of the finest movies in the series. You go in expecting that it's going to be full of bad acting, machismo, hot cars, and extreme orientalism - AND THEN IT SATISFIES ON ALL COUNTS!!!

So my recommendation is that you watch it (even if you skip 4/5/6)
Feb 5, 2013 MarkM commented on What Do You Think of the Fast & Furious 6 Trailer?.
I'd just like to point out that this might be the greatest series of movies ever made.

And yes, that's a statement of fact - not an opinion.
Sep 28, 2012 MarkM commented on Morning News: Michele Bachmann's Mouth, Golf, and Other Intrinsic Evils.
I can't believe people are commenting about apple. That story about the kid who got beat up in Bellevue just ruined my day... that's just so fucked up.
Jun 13, 2011 MarkM commented on A Question on Buses About Smoking.
@76 - FTW

Also, I've been on both sides of the fence, and what I've found is that people who think other peoples' business is there own, will go ahead and make it that way. If they want to be pissed at your for smoking, they're the same people who bitch at traffic, at the lines in the grocery store, and when you put your seat back in the airplane (Yes, this might be the most controversial of all things, I realize). There's a certain egotism about wanting to control everything about your environment while not making any concessions for the other people who use it. It's made even more frustrating by the fact that they make "health" their holy grail, and a foil through which they let you know YOU are inflicting injury on THEM, while obviously, as many other commenters have pointed out, there are many worse things people and society do for our health.

Yes, smoking smells. Yes, it can cause health damage. No, stopping smoking for every person in your space will not make you happy or less pissed off, you're just an angry egotistical person. Share space, be polite, and people will do the same for you.
Jun 8, 2011 MarkM commented on Yeah, Sure, We're Underinvesting in Education, but Hey Look... Squirrel!.

I get it. Originally you were just... making conversation. And people went and got all ape-shit. Now, their ape-shit-ness brings up another point... why don't people care more when things REALLY MATTER?

Why?... Because they just really like being angry! RAWR!!!

Good series of posts.
Jun 3, 2011 MarkM commented on The Most Heartrending Breakup Letter You'll Read All Day.
I agree with 6-8. This is kinda inappropriate don't you think? What the hell?