We’ve all heard it from our mom, our abuela, or the conservative neighbor down Main St.: weed is bad for you! Weed is addictive! Weed can kill you! Well, would you look at that. Through the years and ages there has been a constant debacle on whether weed is bad for you or not. While we cannot make any claims about weed being either good or bad for you, we have gathered a series of myths and facts about cannabis that you can show uncle Rick so that he stops throwing your edibles away:
#1: Cannabis is Addictive
I mean, kill me for this one! According to a study made in the 1990’s, 9% of cannabis users become dependent. This puts cannabis well below the percentage of people who become dependent on alcohol or other drugs (can we even call weed a drug?). So, is pot addictive? You could argue that it is in fact addictive, but so is everything we consume on a daily basis: sugar, caffeine, your parent’s porn collection (don’t lie, you’ve been there), and other things we consume on the regular.
#2: Weed Smokers Lack Motivation
Robert Dawney Jr. Oliver Stone. Rihanna. Matt Damon. Conan O’Brien. I think we can put this one to sleep.
#3 Smoking Weed is Worse for your Lungs Than Smoking Cigs
Smoking cigarettes lead to a wide array of pulmonary infections and diseases. It can cause lung damage, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disease, among other life-threatening conditions. A study in 2012 proved that smoking cannabis has no adverse lung-damaging repercussions. Also, while a cigarette smoker smokes a pack a day on average, the regular cannabis user smokes no more than one or two bowls a day. Basically, we all know that no one has ever died from smoking weed, amirite?
#4 Cannabis Consumption Leads to Drug Abuse
Let’s admit it. If you’ve done harder drugs in the past, chances are you’ve also smoked weed. But does that really mean that cannabis use almost often leads to other drug use? In my experience, I personally know a lot of people that consume cannabis who don’t consume other harder drugs. I believe that drug abuse comes with how your environment has shaped your psyche and how you as a person decide to confront the opportunity of trying other drugs. Cannabis itself doesn’t lead to other drug use and I think I don’t speak for myself when I say that.
#5 Cannabis Destroys Your Brain Cells
Yup. You’ve heard it. Many times I’ve been told by people who are widely misinformed that marijuana use causes brain damage, or that it destroys brain cells. There was a case study in New Zealand in 2012 where they sampled the brains of 1,000 chronic marijuana users. Only 3.8 percent of the users reported a drop in IQ of 8 points. The study, however, did not take into account any socioeconomic factors. Also, this study sampled a very small number of chronic users who consume a lot more cannabis than the regular cannabis user. So, does cannabis affect your brain? Yes, it does, but a lot of the times it has a positive effect rather than negative, and when negative effects are found it is usually around those who abuse it (nothing in excess will ever be good for you).
#6 Smoking Weed Leads to More Crime
I mean, seriously? When was the last time your best friend pulled out a gun after smoking a joint? Research over the years has proven that alcohol abuse and dependency leads to, in some cases, violence in the household and on the streets. This myth comes from the demonization of marijuana by heavy conservatives and brainwashing from anti-cannabis corporations over the years. Cannabis poses a threat to major pharmaceutical corporations, the paper industry, among others, so it is normal for them to promote against marijuana use by saying that it leads to more crimes. Smoke a joint, for your soul’s sake!
#7 Prohibition Effectively Protects Children
This one was posted by the Rolling Stone magazine and I found it very interesting. According to them, in 2011 marijuana use by teenagers peaked in the United States. However, there was no difference in the amount of teenagers that smoke pot in states where marijuana is legal than in states where it’s not. So does prohibition really protect children? In the end, kids will find a way to buy and consume cannabis. In my opinion, and I think I speak for everybody, marijuana legalization and regulation could benefit families a lot more through effective communication and information.
So there you go guys. We have a long road to federal-level legalization, but the facts are there. People will hate, try to sanction marijuana legalization, but at the end of the day we all know that legalization is around the corner. Questions? Comments? Leave them down below and let’s start a conversation!