I've definitely heard about this colloquially with people reacting very differently to the same strain ("we were all fine but she was just freaking out"), and the new science coming out of places like Colorado seems to be showing a strong correlation in that direction. I guess you could say (colloquially again, since I'm not at all in the medical field) that pot can open a bad door in some people that may have stayed shut otherwise. Is that gene expression? Brain plasticity? Dunno.
I think prohibition does way more harm than good and I'm glad to see legalization coming to the states, but I don't think we can treat pot as totally harmless for people under 30 and teens in particular because it seems like it's very harmful for some.
One paper on the subject: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931552/
THC is known as the "active" ingredient in cannabis. However we know it's definitely not the only one.
There are 113 identified cannabinoids. Most are believed to have some effect. And there's terpenes that are believed to have effects as well.
So the problem is that ever single bit of cannabis has different ratios of these chemicals. Even two plants with the exact same genetics grown in same conditions can have widely ranging ratios. Which potentially means widely ranging effects.
The good thing is with legalization moving along we should see a lot more high quality studies that can help us figure this out.
This is tangential, but it seems odd to me that many of the same people who are opposed to GMOs on the grounds that “science may have missed something” are okay with legalizing pot until science clearly demonstrates harm. Note that I’m not directing that at you (I don’t think you said anything like what I’m describing), but your quip made me think of it. I’m only calling this out as an intriguing observation; not trying to pick on anyone.
Firstly, marijuana taken internally has a long tradition of use. GMO's not so much. Admittedly, modern strains of marijuana may pose greater concerns.
Secondly, legalisation of recreational drugs is, I'd argue, only tangentially related to the harm they may cause by using them. Take alcohol as an example. The legalisation of recreational drugs is, I'd argue, more about a) personal-sovereignty, and b) the harm caused by the war on drugs.
For the record, I'm pro GMO when and where they makes sense, and also pro personal-sovereignty.
> Secondly, legalisation of recreational drugs is, I'd argue, only tangentially related to the harm they may cause by using them. Take alcohol as an example. The legalisation of recreational drugs is, I'd argue, more about a) personal-sovereignty, and b) the harm caused by the war on drugs.
How does “personal sovereignty” explain supporting prohibitions against GMOs? The opposition to the war on drugs but seems plausible.
Then my observation doesn't apply to you.
> Maybe that's why pro GMO and anti GMO folks can't have a discussion?
Lots of anti GMO folks have cited health concerns.
This seems to be similar reactions to those who take doses of LSD and other psychedelic drugs.
This also seems to be the case for alcohol use.
It stands to reason drug response follows a bell shaped curve, where most people fit in to the pleasant-effects most-of-the-time large area covered by the curve, and fewer people fall outside.
Depression is hell, but it's not worth giving up your sanity and intellect.
That said, the two friends of mine that were the heaviest smokers, saw dramatic improvements in their lives in the few years immediately following giving up smoking pot. Both in terms of health and professional success. They were recreational smokers, rather than smoking for pain purposes or similar, it should be noted. One of them has become a very successful business person, the pot smoking had considerably dulled their ambition. They used to do the minimum to further their life. Afterward, their potential was unleashed, it was night and day (and a dramatic benefit to the well-being of their family).
We can maintain the very correct statements that drugs are bad and that all possible care should be made to remove it's availability and discourage it's use, but treat it as a social problem, not a crime. Let's continue to shut down drug dealers, who grow, import, and spread the crud around, but no longer penalize users. Offer them treatment, help them find better means, rather than throwing them in jail.
Churches might serve this purpose, but those are out of fashion now.
There are lots of behaviors that are not illegal and not against religion that we still use social feedback to minimize.
As a child I grew up in a home with a violent alcoholic father.
Should we shutdown licensed alcohol vendors because a few people react badly to alcohol / are irresponsible drinkers?
The majority of people I've met have not been problem drinkers, nor problem users.
it doesn't have to do this. if people want to kill themselves slowly, they should be allowed to.
Just like the overwhelming majority of alcohol users never have a problem with their alcohol use.
Prohibition seems like the least best alternative. I’m open to being wrong though.
Once you establish a strong connection between what is lawful and what is moral, you open up the ominous gate of any future conflation of moral duty with any reproachable reach of law.
frankly, this argument has no place in a society that considers itself free. it is not for you to tell me what harm i may inflict on my own body, nor to restrict others from helping me do it.
You can argue that our society can't consider itself free, but it's the society we have and the same argument is in play on a number of issues.
not everything on that list is terrible; in fact, it provides a good opportunity to illustrate my point. not wearing a seatbelt makes it likely that you will become a lethal projectile in the event of an accident, so i'm okay with seatbelts being required. as far as food and drugs go, i think people should have access to as much information as possible about the things they are putting in their body, but i don't think they should be prevented from selling raw milk or dangerous drugs. i also think it is fine to prevent children from doing any number of risky things, as they are not mature enough be fully responsible for their actions. my problem is with treating adults like children. unless what you do with your body actually harms others, you should be left to do it in peace. and no, the fact that other people choose to waste resources cleaning up your mistakes does not constitute harming them.
Alcohol is legal, not decriminalized. Alcohol kills and hurts more people than marijuana ever has and ever will. Despite those problems, most sane people do not believe prohibition of alcohol was a good time for humanity.
Alcohol has been an integral part of Western civilization for quite a while now. Prohibition on alcohol is in no way comparable to prohibition on pot [in terms of its impact]. Why do you think its prohibition is "dramatically" worse than making this mind altering substance generally available?
[secret handshake disclaimer: I liked Spliff and I don't mean just the band.]
It isn't that hard, don't do illegal drugs if you don't want to be called a criminal. You can work to make them legal, but that doesn't change the fact that they are illegal right now.
Prihibition is dramatically worse because it imputes criminal charges onto people who are otherwise innocent. This is bad because these people are not a threat to society, yet with prohibition they lose their life to jailtime and a permanent criminal record.
I never said they are not illegal right now.
I never said that it shouldn't be legalized/decriminalized, I'm just objecting to the usage of "innocent" to describe these people.
However I would then ask if the legal criteria of judging innocence are useful to society. My claim is that they are not, in that we label people as "guilty" and socially disadvantage them, when they may otherwise be perfectly productive members of society. Their use of cannabis in and of itself causes causes comparatively less harm to others, at least relative to harder drugs like alcohol.
Depression itself leads to all of those things. Your anecdote is not data.
Yeah that's misleading at best.
Short of a plausible neurochemical explanation of how it would happen, phenomenological studies like those have to be discarded. They simply don't have the ability to illuminate anything, they can only feed intuitive guesses which is always dangerous in issues of health.
Ignoring the link between mental illness and marijuana use is ridiculous. A medical study doesn't need 100% confidence to be true. If we held all of medical science to that bar, we'd never make progress.
Plus, we have a colloquialism for a person whose mind appears to have suffered damage from excessive marijuana usage: a burnout. It's something that even recreational users observe. And where there's smoke...
Your statement presupposes the conclusion. You need to consider two different questions:
1) Do we have correlation between marijuana usage and mental illness above and beyond the line for something as common as alcohol or cigarettes?
2) Do we have have causation between marijuana and mental illness?
Most studies barely reach an "inconclusive, needs more study" on 1). 2) isn't even in scope yet.
> Plus, we have a colloquialism for a person whose mind appears to have suffered damage from excessive marijuana usage: a burnout.
We also have a word for someone with the same issue on a different drug--alcoholic.
I'm pretty sure we have far more conclusive evidence of the mental damage that alcohol does than the damage that marijuana does.
> The relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia fulfills many but not all of the standard criteria for causality, including temporality, biological gradient, biological plausibility, experimental evidence, consistency, and coherence. At the present time, the evidence indicates that cannabis may be a component cause in the emergence of psychosis, and this warrants serious consideration from the point of view of public health policy. 
That's pretty solid, and far from "inconclusive." Animal testing have already confirmed that mice with certain genetic markers will develop schizophrenia if exposed to THC. 
It's literally what he said: "inconclusive, needs more study".
The rule for him was always "cannabis triggers".
It is just as likely, given the description, that the sequence that results in an episode includes the prompts that trigger him to medicate with cannabis.
This is why we can't use personal experience to make public policy.
Perhaps the lapse in judgement is a sign of an oncoming episode, with weed unnecessarily blamed. But the experience of so many people and the possibility of a link deserves to be investigated with the rigour of science.
But I can say the same for alcohol and cigarettes and ...
While there are a few diehards, most sane people will not defend "marijuana is harmless"--even for adults. It's a drug; it does something to your mind; that's why you use it.
However, the increasing amount of data suggests that what harm marijuana does is in the same class as things like alcohol and cigarettes--which are legal, but regulated.
You're right, of course. But the same is true of peanuts.
Now 5 of those 20 started developing health/mental problems which are noticeable by parents, teachers & doctors.
What are the chances of the majority of those 5 stop eating peanuts, It is very high.
Now, what are the chances of similar 5 teens stop using weed for health/mental problems?
I did. I recognized immediately on the first episode that something was wrong, I had a serious trip at the age of 18 where I was experiencing extremely high paranoia and psychosis to the point where I tried to get to the hospital, made worse by the fact it was illegal at the time so my friends stopped me, increasing the paranoia. It took me another bad experience to realise it was me, not the drug because my friends were fine. I didn't smoke for 20 years and only very carefully started again and now I can, but very very small doses and only when I'm out doing something. I'm a woman and what I went through wasn't so rare for my other friends, women and men. It didn't have any rhyme nor reason who it struck. But most of us stopped eventually, then we went on to our successful lives.
Probably good with actual education that makes sure folks know the actual risks and what sorts of things to look out for. We should do this in a better manner than we do with alcohol now. We should be very careful not to lie to folks lest folks cast aside all that we try to teach.
A few folks won't listen, just like a few folks will eat peanuts nonetheless.
You can rationalize peanuts beeing unhealthy for you exactly the same way you can rationalize away health issues due to marijuana.
"All other people eating it are fine"
"I've been eating peanuts for 5 years, and look, Im still alive"
It is not the same.
Look at the opioid epidemic in teens across USA, talk to health care providers in that area, there is very well recorded evidence "a BIG percentage" of kids who personally noticed "Learning problems and other mental problems" are UNABLE to STOP using weed.
There is recorded clinical data evidence throughout USA hospitals. Millions of kids across the country were found having various kinds of food allergies and advised by the doctors to stop eating those foods and the vast majority DID STOP eating them.
The comparision is "If you eat this, you will probably die if you do not get immediate treatment" versus "If you smoke this, in some time in the future you might have mental health issues. Or you might be totally fine"
Peanuts are also not (mentally) addictive, and neither do they alter your mental state.
People like to take chances, and hope that its not gonna be them who get mentally ill.
Yes, they are? Anecdotally, if i put a bowl of peanuts on my desk, I'll eat them without knowing it, and speed up eating them when nervous, thinking, or bored. Any habit a human does enough can be mentally addictive.
Importantly, neither are physiologically addictive.
Your example isnt about addiction though. its that most likely you are kinda hungry, want to do something with your hands while you are thinking, or a nervous tick.
mariam webster defines addiction as follows
> : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal
> broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful
personally I would not even require the substance beeing harmfull. So yes, you can imho be addicted to peanuts, but finishing the bowl on your desk is not that.
Presumably, the op knows the same, hence specified mentally addictive, but is confused because they don't think peanuts have the same, but they do. Mentally addictive only means you like the way it makes you feel so you keep doing it, not that your receptors actually need it or stop functioning without it (chemical dependence)
Cannabinoids have similar addiction pathways (dopamine receptors) as sex, sugar, and, for this example, salt.
That is exactly why weed and peanuts should be treated differently.
This has nothing to do with the substance. If weed stopped you from breathing and made your tongue swell, people would drop it right away.
The fact is, it's a substance that affects different people differently. It can cause intense anxiety in some people, and it can severely impair your judgement. Responsible use requires that users be properly informed of the risks. We need to be having a more balanced and honest discussion about this, and many other issues.
I have many friends and family on all sides of the spectrum, and there are many conservatives that have opinions like, "it's not for me, but I don't care what you do with your body" (not a typical conservative position IMHO, but becoming more common). I've also been hearing the "I support medical, but not recreational." Even here in Utah, a very conservative state, we are close to legalizing medical cannabis with prop 2.
On the progressive side I've been starting to hear people saying more and more that the evidence is incomplete, and therefore the government needs to consider regulating it much more heavily or wait to legalize until more science is done.
Of course, those are not the stereotypical views, but it's one of the issues that seems to cross left/right divides a lot more than others.
For the sake of simplicity, let me put a number here.
High schooler between 9th to 12 grade who smoke weed at least 10 times a week all four years will settle in LIFE below 50% of his potential (compared to how he would have done without weed)
He got a 1st in Chemistry.
You did not read my post well. You did not know the guy you said did what I mentioned "10 times a week, for all 4 years 9-12 grade", If he did, he is unlikely to reach university. Even if few kids reach university with parents money, they would not have got 1st in Chemistry.
You may still show me 15 guys who reached university top class ranks after doing 4 year high school heavy weed.
In the same high school I can show 85 kids (4 year high school heavy weed users) whose life prospects are diminished by the time they finish the collage .
That is the whole point
School was a tricky time for me. I'm thriving intellectually now, but I was a C- student pretty much 4th-12th grade. I needed those cycles that pot would have robbed me of.
edit: I'm being rightfully called out. I haven't done heroin and didn't mean to authoritatively say that there is only one realistic outcome. I only meant that painting the picture of drugs completely ruining your entire life isn't accurate, we all know very successful people that regularly do drugs.
There are different types of feeling good, and the purely chemical good isn't particularly rewarding. There are the moments in life where you are happy because you are living the life you want to live, and those are way better than just feeling good from drugs. Sometimes life goals and drugs come together, and that gets really interesting. It's reasonably common for people to do MDMA and have a glimpse of their life without anxiety and trauma, or LSD and looking at their own existence objectively.
For me, the best moments in my life are around building connections with people.
Not trying to single out parent, just felt like it should be mentioned.
It's sort of like the fact that nothing tastes better than cheesecake (or insert your favorite dessert here), but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy life or even other food without it.
As far as drugs go though, there is a lot of personal preference involved too. For me, MDMA in unhealthy quantities is still the best that I've ever felt, and I know some other people prefer the meth high, but I don't think that's exactly what you are arguing against :)
I suppose this varies a lot from individual to individual. I had morphine a few months ago for a shoulder reduction, and I felt horrible enough that I almost wish I'd just done it without painkillers at all.
The evasion and mental gymnastics does have some point at least - it isn't the doctor deciding to take the life of a patient because of a judgement and well any student of the 20th century knows how /that/ can end.
But there are lots of drugs that have the possible side effect of death, and plenty of patients who decide that the risk-benefit of taking a drug is warranted even though it might kill them.
So therefore, everything has to be described in terms of "pain management" and "comfort" where the cessation of breathing is just a... potential side effect. If that, combined with the patient's standing orders not to intubate or perform any sort of resuscitative action in the event that they stop breathing, leads to death... well...
The euphemism that is frequently used is "palliative sedation" (or "terminal sedation", although that seems to be used mostly by people of the thou-must-maximally-suffer school of thought).
I'm sure that's not true of every user, but enough of them that I really think heroin(and strong opioids in general) is a different beast.
This ends up hurting our society on multiple fronts: people not being as productive as they could be because they're encouraged to waste time, an overall less happy society, a less healthy society because of the encouragement of sedentary behavior (and the economic burden that comes with that), a large part of the economy that could be devoted to improving people's lives but is instead wasted on encouraging negative behavior, etc. The problem is that we've grown so accustomed to this situation that we rarely think much about it, or what we can do to change it (whereas marijuana is getting at least some scrutiny, since legalization is new).
You shouldn't be listening to music, you should be creating it.
You shouldn't be playing video games, you should be designing them.
You shouldn't be just eating food, you should be the one cooking it.
You shouldn't be lazing around at the pool, you should be swimming laps.
It's disgustingly puritan. Really it's enough to tell people that you should spend part of your time being productive. How you spend your leisure time really doesn't matter. But I guess quoting south park is typically a prerequisite for constraining the discussion to the point of nothingness.
>If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren't good at anything.
I understand the audience on this forum will not like this sentiment, but with the empirical evidence we have on hand, video games are a bigger problem for our youth than pot will most likely ever be.
Moderation is the thing, and for young people in particular that can be a lot to ask.
All evidence points to it being more destructive.
>Moderation is the thing
That's exactly what I just said.
>and for young people in particular that can be a lot to ask.
It can be. And quite frankly certain forms of media are doing more damage to our youth than marijuana ever could when taken in excessive amounts. Loss of sleep, sedentary lifestyles, in some cases toxic social environments.
Video gaming is an interesting one, a form of dopamine addiction. Pot isnt about dopamine I think?
I'm sorry what do you think leisure activities are?
It's blatantly obvious some of the comments are speaking out of unbridled ignorance.
But when you finished the joint, you will still have to do something. And after the active part of smoking is done, the "beeing high makes you more likely be okay with beeing bored" still applies.
And I can promise you that I am not ignorant when talking about marijuana, and neither am I opposed to people smoking it for their enjoyment.
I wouldn't consider music an "alternative to boredom" as its foremost characteristic or as a last resort to boredom. It's just a fun activity. Just like smoking marijuana is. It's too much of a mischaracterization of music, or pot, or any other leisure activity.
The effect of smoking pot lasts longer than the action of smoking pot. The effect of listening to music often is limited to the action of listening to music.
Pot affects people over time. So you might smoke a joint then be quite content being in the world doing whatever. If you didn't smoke the joint and did the same whatever things you would feel bored.
You generally don't feel bored and are ok with it on pot, you feel ok doing the same activities you would feel bored doing if you were not high.
I hope that improves the understanding.
This isn't true, unfortunately (at least in the US and I suspect much of the world) unless you are getting it legally or know the source. The US does grow quite a bit of illegal marijuana but there is also quite a bit imported by Mexican cartels and I have seen articles about how legalization is having a non-trivial financial impact on cartels, such as:
For detailed reporting on cartels in Mexico see Borderland Beat:
Yes, you can say this is due to it being illegal and you would be right, but we shouldn't ignore what is actually being funded by US illegal drug consumption.
> South Park put it quite well: "Well, Stan, the truth is marijuana probably isn't gonna make you kill people, and it most likely isn't gonna fund terrorism, but… well, son,
> pot makes you feel fine with being bored. And it's when you're bored that you should be learning some new skill or discovering some new science or being creative.
>If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren't good at anything".
All high school weed smokers are not equal. There are many occasional smokers.
For the sake of simplicity, let me put a number here.
High schooler between 9th to 12 grade who smoke weed at least 10 times a week all four years will settle in LIFE below 50% of his potential (compared to how he would have done without weed)
The few that didn't were the ones that either got into harder drugs or were already also stealing or hanging out with gangsters also.
The people that just sat around smoking weed though for the most part ended up alright.
I didn't smoke weed through high school but I still did poorly because I didn't really care. I was more concerned with my mom slowly dying of lung cancer at the time. I did enough to pass but was about it. High school was honestly one of the most pointless things i've had to do in my life. It didn't stop me from going to school after and doing useful things with my life though. I also smoked weed constantly throughout university and was consistently among the top in my class. I'd be stoned during midterms and get 100% or more on a couple occasions.
I've never found it slows me down or stops me from thinking. If anything it does the opposite. It lets my mind focus on one thing at a time without getting distracted and makes tasks i'd othwerwise find boring and probably procrastinate on fun and interesting and gives me more incentive to do those things.
I know plenty of people that spent high school and even a not insignificant amount of college in a pot-induced daze that are successful developers, scientists and even one doctor.
How do you define "boredom"?
According to Oxford Dictionary it means:
"Feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity." 
As far as my observations go this is particularly not fitting the perception experienced under the influence of weed.
Weed makes you feel - provided one responds positive to it - not weary, not impatient and one finds the present activity overly interesting.
> And it's when you're bored that you should be learning some new skill or discovering some new science or being creative. If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you aren't good at anything.
In my personal opinion I think that's alright. Not everybody has to be "good" at something. Whatever that even means.
EDIT: I would like to mention that weed only makes me sleepy and helps relax. Also I don't think that one should respond to boredom (how I understand it) with weed - not at all. Drugs are never necessary to grow personally and often detrimental due to overuse.
And that is the point of what they're saying. Being bored can be uncomfortable. One route out of that is to do something more interesting and productive, another is to alter your perception so that you are ok with it.
If people got to choose what they were doing it seems unlikely they would be bored in the first place though...
The stereotype of an absent-minded stoner is one way to look at it, but I often found that it caused my mind to wander and occasionally follow trains of thought that would normally be cut off earlier by "normal" thought processes.
That said, letting your mind wander can spur creativity and cannabis is something that enables this state. At the same time, if all you do is come up with random ideas (some of which might have value to yourself or others), it's only the start of the process. Brainstorming is great but if it never goes past the daydream phase, it may be irrelevant.
Either way, as I got older I stopped reacting positively to cannabis and I find it makes me more anxious than anything these days (yeah, yeah, I tried "that one strain I just had to try"). For whatever reason my brain just doesn't like being in that state anymore. But I'd never tell someone else how to relax or when it's valid to indulge in a bit of daydreaming if it agrees with them.
Banal: Overeating/overdrinking/overconsuming, sitting around, reading reddit/HN for hours, playing video games or twitch.
Not banal: Challenging yourself to new activities or hobbies that require skill. Seeing the world, interacting with other people IRL. Learning (new topics, reading, etc). Building things. Getting out of your comfort zone.
Essentially, being passive/not learning/not engaging vs. learning/challenging oneself and trying to be more than you are.
That said I can say that having depression (and a bit of PTSD) is way more of a hell without the weed to take my mind off it. And even if it's just playing a video game for 6 hours (rimworld is my current 2nd drug) that's far more active and engaging than my typical super depressed not leaving my bed state.
I also think bettering yourself and being a success isn't a one-size-fits-all package. I have a friend who smoked so much damn weed it's a wonder they have any brains left. They learned to play league of legends 10+ hours a day sometimes while high as a kite. They're now making multiple times the money streaming on twitch than they ever would've with any job they would be qualified for. They're the happiest they've ever been, met their SO through twitch, and are living the good life all by ignoring the advice being given here.
All those things feel AMAZING while high, even if the banal things feel way better than sober. Cannabis doesn't just somehow discriminate to make only unproductive activities feel better.
I personally reached the conclusion to start seriously self-learning coding while stoned out of my mind and would furiously code in my room while stoned out of my mind. Now, about seven years later, I have a good career as a developer and still get stoned silly every night.
We really need to look at society and ask why people are looking for a way out instead of a way in, but I guess it's easier to blame weed.
Some of the unhappiest people I know obsess over optimizing every second to be productive
We're not all Elon Musk, working 90 hours a week and always starting up a new start up. Banality will ensure we don't burn out before we're 40.
Also Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Feynman etc. (of course that doesn't prove anything - but it helps keeping things in proportion)
I would argue that striving for success is often the best way to actually not reach one's fullest potential.
That's basically what he said. You're doing something that you'd ordinarily find boring, but now you don't feel bored.
Feeling bored is your mind telling you that you should be doing something else.
Okay - so you normally would feel unpleasant. Now you don't because of weed. Of course you can argue weed is unhealthy - totally possible. But regarding the perceived state change. How is that causing harm? Because s/he's not going to become wealthy or "successful"?
The problem is if you do it to excess. When you would rather stay in and get high, than meet up with friends, drop out of school etc. When you are not living up to what you consider successful for yourself. Then you have a problem.
Cannabis certainly has a calming effect that could lower the hyperactivity component, but it doesn't address the attention deficit part.
The reason the most common treatment are stimulants like Ritalin, is because it "wakes us up" and brings us ADHD people to an alertness level similar to what our peers have by default.
Often low dopamine and noradrenaline levels are to blame. (L-Tyrosine on an empty stomach can help, if you're looking for a natural solution.)
Relaxing is overrated. It deprives you of powers you have developed or will develop, only to make you a more powerless person.
And a powerless person can never and should never relax.
I still of course work extra some times or do productive things in my time off, but yeah unless there's a deadline I'm not gonna worry about some work problem on off hours when I can't even make progress until I get back to my work computer anyways.
Fear/worry/anxiety is the mind killer and often helps nothing.
Relaxing is not overrated at all, it improves your ability to focus, and even makes you more productive. Far from depriving you of any powers or skills.
My experience is that there is not a linear relationship between effort invested and output. It's a diminishing returns problem after 8-10 hours per day, so it's not even productive for me to spend all day and night churning on a work problem, even if I wanted to do that.
I get it now. Sort of.
But the problem doesn't go away.
Be social, happy, energetic, hungry, incapable of succeeding in the education system of the 90s, 00s. (default me)
Be quiet, jittery, never eat, anti-social, depressed at times, but kick ass at school.
Tried a lot of different ADHD medications and generally found success in simply selectively switching that knob when I wanted to be a human or when I wanted to be a learning machine.
I wonder what pot would have done... never really thought about it.
1. Hyperfocus. It has been tremendous for programming or even reading. There's sort of an ADD threshold that I break through after ~30 minutes of self discipline and pain. Then I'm suddenly in the zone, some kind unshakeable state, for hours on end. Most people I know seem to need a break after 30-60 minutes, right when I'm just getting into it.
2. Fun and physical activity. I use extreme difficulty of maintaining attention as an indicator that what I'm doing is just not stimulating or interesting enough. Of course this might not be good when you're with other humans, but I find I'm often able to focus on things better when my body is moving. That means when I take someone out on a date somewhere, it's usually very interesting and unusual.
3. Fast context switching. This may be more of a coping mechanism than a benefit, but often times rather than focusing on a single task, I'll "procrastinate" by switching between multiple important tasks repeatedly or working on things that are peripherally related. As a result, I have a breadth of knowledge that helps me think creatively and still get work done as needed.
4. Creative thinking. I believe (anecdotally, no evidence) that people with ADD are less likely to get stuck in a rut, or get bogged down with repetitive, boring, familiar things, because we simply don't have the attention span for it.
I havent noticed any difference in how fast I recognize changes between me and coworkers. If at all, I seem to miss changes more often, as my mind usually goes "was that allways like that? I guess so", since recall of memories can be pretty flaky
Average seems to be 0.25 seconds, if I remember correctly a online test I did at home put me at 0.28, just sliightly over average
My study strategy in college was to review my notes for about an hour, take a bong hit, and watch a movie. Then I would get a great night sleep.
Otherwise, test anxiety would keep me awake and do more harm than good.
This topic is more complex than simple HN comments are going to cover. There are different types of ADHD and though ADHD is good for software development (because of hyperfocus) it's also correlated with having a lower IQ. So high functioning ADHD people are a rarity and they're often in software or something similar for a multitude of reasons.
What you read here is how smart people with ADHD feel about their condition. It's dangerous to extrapolate to the broader public. You're also going to miss much of the conversation because most people that have tried pot once or twice aren't going to comment on it because they know how it's going to end up in a database somewhere. So you're going to see more pro-pot arguments than "I tried it and it didn't work for me" arguments.
I would argue that hyperfocus vs inattention is a net-loss for my employee
So it's not just the loss of productivity from inattention that's a problem for most jobs, but the lack of consistency in your output.
> Neurotypicals can hyperfocus as well, and personally for me (ADHD-PI) I hyperfocus very few times at work, but more frequently at home.
Yes, neurotypicals can hyperfocus as well, but I've found that ADHD coders are way more likely to hyperfocus. The key is setting up the environment around them. I'm also ADHD-PI if it matters, though my specific situation is more complicated so it went undiagnosed for decades.
> So it's not just the loss of productivity from inattention that's a problem for most jobs, but the lack of consistency in your output.
Agree here too; especially for the unmedicated.
That said, very few neurotypicals hit the performance I see from high functioning ADHD coders (~2000-3000 commits a year and completely ridiculous learning rate with new technology).
Neurotypicals are also less pissed off with minor annoyances than ADHDers and ASDers, so they don't code up solutions to little problems that cost them 5 seconds a day, when in the long run that it is worth it to do so.
But you're right that the bigger the team, the worse they do. Especially if the project is a tarball of uninterestingness and wrought with pointless, unscheduled meetings and other interruptions.
The stimulants generally used allow the brain to get a reward for the current activity, pushing it over the threshold and allowing it to focus on an activity and pay attention to a situation.
On the inverse, simply making the brain slower would yield similar results, IMO. It likely wouldn't fix it overall, you would still suffer from an attention deficit but the overall condition would slow down a bit. That might help a lot.
Now, if there is no adverse health issue other than making you a little dumber, shouldn't we also ban a host of other habits that cause just a bit of harm to you? What about eating sweets that may give you a bit of pleasure but are also unhealthy if ingested regularly? What about driving car to cinema when you could watch the movie in safety of your home without causing pollution or risking getting your kids in an accident?
Or maybe, just maybe, the freedom is value in itself and we should allow people to make decisions even if they are not optimal for themselves and for others who may have to chip in to pay for somebody elses mistakes?
And it has: http://i.imgur.com/yPCC3dj.jpg
shouldn't we also ban
Also? Who said anything about banning pot?
Everyone. Like every gov't globally in the past 40 years.
I see a lot of pretty silly takes in this thread that weed automatically makes you happy with boredom somehow, and that apparently leads to a bunch of people sitting on couches zoned out who would have otherwise, with that "bored" time, gone out and learned juggling. Sounds like some grandma's opinion from the 40s.
I am on a balanced schedule of stimulants that keep me productive and not-depressed. This doesn't give me the right to tell people to take these drugs because of my personal opinion; research shows the effects of stimulant use, abuse, and misuse, and it's mostly pretty negative.
The problem is confining to a narrow usage pattern. It is just impossible for 99.99% of people over 30 years of their lives. All will make mistakes at one point.
I think the comment i was replying to stated that a little relaxation in the middle of a stressful hour can really help you focus more.
for me personally the effect is this:
when i am stoned, i can focus and learn easily. sometimes it feels more easy than when i'm sober.
when i am stoned, i have trouble to APPLY what i learnt. when i am sober, it's easy to APPLY what i learnt. so it's very important to me to be sober, so i can finally apply more effectivly all that i learnt.
the key that led me to this is that one day in my early smoking days my brother told me, each year take a month or 2 off it, to show your mind and body you can do without. in these periods i started noticing these changes and differences between states of mind i was in, eventually taking me to the point of realization it was affecting me in a bad way compared to what i wanted out of life.
that being said i have a lot of stoner friends who are also aware of this, but it doesnt bother them and they live happy lives. that's the personal part. if it prevents you from being you or not, and if it stops you from acheiving your goals or not.
i am from the netherlands, it's super easy to get pot fairly ok pot to smoke, maybe for a person like me, too easy.
when i don't smoke even for a few days now after smoking pretty much constantly for around 10 years (5/6 joints a day generally) my cognition shoots up and because i can apply what i have learnt, my life's frustration drops and happiness increases. this is actually what i felt from being stoned when i first started, so that's also something which might be dynamic in nature, and personal to each individual.
last piece of information:
i think most people, smoke, drink and smoke pot etc. due to stress, knowingly or unknowingly. because these all reduce the impact of the stress. like instead of getting intense stress, you get less stress spread out over a longer period of time. this might seem nice for some very stressful singular event, but if you do it consistently , it means that you will be lagging behind on dealing with your stress, and these longer less stressful periods start to overlap, causing actually stress levels to be MUCH HIGHER than what you would expect.
be careful, self-reflect, and look critically at your life and how these substances affect your path. it's fun to do drugs or take substances w/e you want to call it. but there is a fine line between use and misuse. if you feel depressed or something like that, seek help from a PERSON and not a SUBSTANCE