Cannabis: Drugs and Developing Minds

New study suggests cannabis use by teens damages brain worse than suspected

I was amused by this article.  It’s the type of thing that would feed some people’s fears.  “OMG!  Pot is destroying our children’s minds!  The fear-mongering of the Just Say No ads was right!  That really is how your brain looks on drugs!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah… well, everything effects the brain, especially the developing brain.  The brain keeps developing even during the decade when most people go to college, start drinking heavily and start experimenting with drugs.  Heck, your diet and environment effects your brain.  Children who grow up poor (malnourishment and environmental pollution) grow up to have many physical and mental health problems (such as lowered IQ).

And you think illegal drugs are the main problem?  Recent research shows that cigarettes and alcohol are more harmful than marijuana.  Also, research shows that prescription drugs given to children (such as the popular Ritalin) can permanently alter their brain functioning.  The prescribing of drugs to children has increased massively in recent years.  There are more kids taking legal drugs than illegal drugs (although they may be taking legal drugs that are prescribed to others which is the biggest drug problem in schools).

I don’t think kids should be smoking pot, but kids shouldn’t be doing many things (whether by their own choice or by the choice of adults).  In the big picture, though, I don’t think marijuana comes even close to being one of the bigger issues to worry about.

4 thoughts on “Cannabis: Drugs and Developing Minds

    • I’ve heard that being born leads to death. In order to prevent death, we should stop it at its root. No more babies! I’ve stopped eating babies ever since I heard they cause death, but it was hard… they’re so plump and juicy… mmmm……

  1. Very funny. You are always talking about your love for the esoterica so now I ask what you think of Tao.

    The individuation process, I don’t think I really get it. Mostly I get just overviews, maybe there’s a site you can tell

  2. Tao?

    I suppose you’re referring to philosophical Taoism rather than the religion. I know very little about Taoism as a religion. I remember reading a book by a Westerner who travelled around China before the cultural revolution and so experienced the Taoist religion before it was almost entirely wiped out. It was an interesting book, but I can’t recall offhand the author.

    I’ve read the Tao Te Ching, but that was many years ago. Most of my knowledge of the Tao is secondhand. The closest that I come to firsthand experience is my having gone to massage school studying Shiatsu and basic theory on Chinese medicine. I had to learn how yin and yang relate to the flow of chi within the body, but my knowledge is pretty minimal. I have skimmed Mantak Chia books on occasion just out of curiosity.

    Mostly, my interest in Taoism and Chinese philosophy comes from certain Western writers I enjoy reading. I’ve come across Taoist ideas from many writers, but specifically two have influenced my own thinking.

    First off, Carl Jung studied Taoism quite a bit and it influenced his understanding of individuation. He wrote commentary for Willhelm’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower and wrote and introduction to Legge’s translation of the I Ching. I think Jung also wrote of Taoist ideas elsewhere, but I couldn’t give you any specific book titles. I do have a book somewhere that is about Jung and the Tao (in fact, I think that might be the title).

    Secondly, Philip K. Dick (who studied Jung’s writing) was very interested in Taoism (and like Jung also very interested in Gnosticism). PKD wrote about Taoism in his journal, Exegesis and probably in some of his other nonfiction writings. Most recently, I read his novel The Man in the High Castle which is about an alternative universe where the Japanese and Germans won WWII. In that novel, he used the I Ching and Eastern philosophy.

    Jung’s views on individuation?

    Yikes! I’m not sure I really understand it. Jung wrote so much and I’ve only read a few of his books. I’m not even sure in which book he discusses individuation the most. I’m sure there has to be some good introductory articles and books on the subject, but I’m not sure I can be of much help. My readings of and about Jung have been pretty random.

    Come to think of it, there is one possibly good resource to check out on the web. I joined a forum that where all aspects of Jung’s theory was discussed. It’s a nice forum because it’s a friendly place and some of the people there have been studying Jung all of their adult lives. The forum is called Kaleidoscope..

    http://kaleidoscope-forum.org/talk/index.php?page=7

    I’m sure you can find a discussion thread there about individuation. Or else you could start a thread by asking someone to give you a basic explanation or point out some online resources.

    If you’re interested in a integral theory understanding of Jung and individuation, then check out this article.

    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:pwiUgWIzOZ4J:www.integralworld.net/harris2.html+individuation+jung&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    Spiral dynamics is an interesting comparison to Jung’s view on individuation.

    http://www.goertzel.org/dynapsyc/2005/Whitlark.htm

    Those are just some things I’ve come across over the years.

    My own understanding of individuation primarily comes from my studies of Jungian typology. Specifically, individuation relates to the inferior function and the shadow functions. I’d recommend studying Beebe’s function roles and Quenk’s view on being ‘in the grip’.

    Jungian typology isn’t primarily about categorizing people. In particular as developed by Myers and Briggs, Jungian typology is supposed to help people develop. Here is a decent introductory paper on typology and individuation.

    http://www.christosg.com/images/Christos–Type%20and%20Individuation–10-03.pdf

    The only other direction you could look is alchemy. As far as I understand, Jung used alchemy as a primary model to understand individuation.

    Also, some think the major arcana of Tarot represent individuation, but I have no opinion on the matter. Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey would as well seem to be pointing out similar understandings of developing human nature. Some think development happens different for women than for men and I know there is a book about the heroine’s journey. Both Jungian typology and Integral theory speak to the issue of differences in gender.

    There are so many different angles you can look at it. But if you’re mainly interested in Jung, then you probably should get a hold of some of Jung’s books where he writes about individuation.

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