Ralph Cantor is 71 years young born in the Bronx New York with no silver spoon upbringing. When he was a young boy and very talented at math, Ralph got a scholarship. He has been in public education for over 40 years as a Math & Science teacher, counselor and administrator.
Recently in the county of Mendocino Ralph Cantor gave a talk at the Conference centre Ukiah, “Marijuana It’s impact on the adolescent brain” with humor, unbiased, passionate, easily understood and science backed evidence on Marijuana to educators, human service providers, behavioral health providers and medical professionals. This is the equivalent of the CEO for alcoholic anonymous presenting his or herself to all the public bars over in England on News Years Eve talking about the dangers of alcohol. Who wants to hear about alcoholism when the owner of the bar is making “money” from alcohol and drinkers are having fun.
Do you get my point? Now I am not saying Mendocino’s main economy is marijuana, yet there does seem an abundance of financial opportunities to part take in an industry that pays hard cash. One of the basic jobs in this industry is called “Trimming.” After harvest, the cannabis plant is generally trimmed of its leaf matter, leaving behind only the buds. During the harvest season $200 a pound for trimming buds is the going rate if you can sit for eight hours and focus with scissors snipping away at this herb.
An example of the vast amounts of revenue created by marijuana is a 71 years young person, (in England we would say OAP, old age pensioner) was arrested with approximately $484,000 in a car and 12,000 plants. The person was later released on $50,000 bail.
So here is this man Ralph Cantor talking about marijuana, “Its impact on the adolescent brain” here in Mendocino. Is Mr. Cantor crazy, mad or is he just wanting to make a bloody wake up call to parents and the marijuana industry who have no idea what this “herb” can do to a young person’s brain? Remember Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz falling a sleep in the field full of poppies until Glinda the good witch wakes her up and tells her to get on her way? “Your children instead of walking through the fields of poppies, they are walking past fields of marijuana plants.” “They need to wake up and get a life,” Ralph Cantor said.
I can see his point of view and hear those hippies of the 1960s saying, “It did me no harm, and I am still living.” Ok, that was a totally different “herb.” It has evolved. Marijuana of that time is not the marijuana of today Ralph Cantor says. The high the hippies got in the 1960s was 1% THC Tetrahydrocannabinol. This gives you the high. The new herb was brought in from Vietnam late 1960s and was 10% THC, then cloning, and modern growing techniques have raised it to 95% THC using dabs (butane hash oil) in the present day. This high THC hitting a 12 year old young brain that has not developed mentally or physically may cause irreparable damage. Why? Well, it is so concentrated it can make the brain give copious amounts of dopamine to get that feeling of well being. “A deeper thinking of life and philosophy.” “I learn better.” “I perform better when I take Marijuana.”
Ralph Cantor explains that this is short-term memory for the adolescent brain. It tricks the brain, he says, just like alcohol. Another point to think about is the tar (dabs) from marijuana inhaled into the lung and the effect it has. Smoke damages the lungs as we all know and Marijuana is no different. Wait a minute, I saw a book being sold “smoking marijuana does not caused lung cancer”! Doctors suggest thick tar from marijuana will harm the fine hairs called cilia in the lung. Cilia helps clears the air passages. My common sense says this, any smoke or pollution will damage my lungs.
Mr. Cantor is not judging or preaching he is just explaining what this new herb has in it if a child at school wants or is offered to use it. Ralph Cantor is not against the use of Marijuana for adults, he wants parents with children 12-18 years of age to be aware that marijuana will damage their brain over long term use.
I have been saying it is a herb although my personal research has suggested with all the cloning and herbicides, fertilizers, hydroponic growing that this hippie “herb” — Ralph Cantor calls this “herb” “a designer drug.” Just like the food industry, processed food has affected the body. “The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board” has sent a notice to residents, and I quote, “The Cannabis Order aims to protect waters of the state from potential harmful impacts associated with cannabis cultivation addressing erosion control and drainage features, stream and wetland buffers, spoils management, water storage and use, irrigation runoff fertilizers and pesticides.” Interesting!
Obesity has grown. Would marijuana become the new fast food of the drug industry? Instead of getting larger clothes to fit the ever increasing waistline as with obesity, what will be the answer to a zombified young brain that has been permanently destroyed? I know nursing care homes will increase. It could be a great investment as young people entering these homes as early as their early 20s. (I personally know of one boy admitted to a home for life after starting to take marijuana in his teens) will be there for a lifetime.
There is a growing call to make marijuana legal, a recreational drug like alcohol. Similar to alcohol it may be just a temporary band aid for when the stress levels start and the need for something to relax, a drink seems the answer. As we all know with booze there is a payback, if we drink too much or drink the wrong drink. A morning hangover or sluggishness follows. Yet continuing drinking the body will become more tolerant of alcohol, so we think. The body hides the withdrawal symptoms very well as long as the liver is cleaning you out. Alcoholics anonymous was formed to deal with addiction, now I have read there is “Marijuana Anonymous.” Marijuana is fat soluble, it stays in the body and when Mr. Cantor says fat he means also the fat in the brain. It can take 60 days to eliminate marijuana from the body, some other experts say longer, 12 months.
As a non-user and observer from a distance I would urge parents to research and to listen to Ralph Cantor through the internet or contact him. A quote: “Help is only help as perceived by the helpee.”
Ralph Cantor can be contacted at: http://www.themarijuanaeducator.com/Marijuana_Educator_Welcome.html
(King Arthur is a USA professional tennis coach & Health Consultant)