Do you know your facts about marijuana? One of the main jobs of the pro-cannabis movement is to distribute truthful and accurate information about marijuana. Marijuana is a natural substance with tremendous benefits from medicinal use to textiles and everything in between. Unfortunately it is still extremely misunderstood. Let’s test your weed facts.
Here are 6 of the bigger facts about marijuana that are simply not true.
1. Marijuana is a Gateway Drug
This is probably the biggest myth of weed facts, that has been taught to children for decades. The idea is that people start out merely smoking pot, but they are soon inspired to experiment with harder, more dangerous drugs. Before they know it, marijuana is the least of their problems. They are hopelessly addicted to cocaine, heroin, meth and several other illegal drugs, all because they took that one puff on that one joint with their friends.
Anti-drug crusaders everywhere insist this is true, but scientists abandoned the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug long ago. A report published back in 1999 and commissioned by Congress stated that there was no “conclusive evidence” that marijuana use led to using harder drugs. People are likely to encounter and use marijuana before moving onto other substances, but that is only because it is one of the most widely used illegal drugs in this country. Other studies have shown that 75 percent of Americans who have admitted to marijuana use reported never using harder drugs, and the number of hard drug users in the country has gone down even as marijuana has been legalized in some states.
2. Marijuana Causes Brain Damage
People have long believed that long-term daily marijuana use causes brain damage, but studies performed back in 2003 found that there was a “very small” impairment of memory and cognitive abilities in regular users. In fact, regular use of marijuana seems to have less of an effect than alcohol and other substances on the adult brain. This might not be the case for 12 year-olds whose brains are still developing, but it appears that adults can use marijuana regularly without having to worry about suffering brain damage.
3. Marijuana is More Dangerous than Tobacco
Another one of the popular facts about marijuana that people like to cite is that marijuana is more dangerous to a person’s health than tobacco, and that smoking just one joint is as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes. This flies in the face of studies that have proven that regular marijuana smokers experience a higher airflow resistance in their large airways than cigarette smokers.
Unlike tobacco, marijuana does not cause lung cancer. In fact, marijuana smoke may have a protective effect on the lungs and is capable of clearing the phlegm and smog from the lungs that are caused by smoking tobacco. Sadly, these findings often fall on deaf ears because prohibitionists continue to talk up the dangers of marijuana compared to cigarettes.
4. Marijuana has no medical benefits
One of the best weed facts recently is that research has proven marijuana has significant benefits on chronic pain patients. It is a powerful analgesic. Clinical trials tested placebos and varied potency levels all with the positive correlation of the medicinal affects of marijuana for pain. This is especially true in cases of nerve damage.
Cannabis aids with chemical imbalances in the brain such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and ADHD. Regular marijuana users have a significantly lower rate of depression and suicide from non-users. Also in 2006 marijuana was proven to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease by blocking certain enzymes in the brain and been shown to prohibits protein clumps that obstruct memory and cognition.
Additionally in February confirmed that THC has slowed the spread of HIV in Monkeys.
Further studies are being done on to definitively prove the benefits of marijuana on cancer, arthritis, migraines and Multiple Sclerosis.
Clearly that fact about marijuana is BUSTED!
5. Legalizing Marijuana would Increase the Number of Accidents on Highways
Although marijuana can impair a person’s ability to drive, there are already between 40 and 100 million marijuana users in the United States currently. Many of these people do get behind the wheel. In fact, a study in 2002 says, “Crash culpability studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes.” (www.norml.com) Further stats show that 85% of drivers with marijuana in their systems had also used alcohol making it unable to prove that marijuana impaired the driver’s abilities. There is no conclusive evidence that legalizing marijuana will increase the numbers of accidents on the roadways or that it has a significant impact currently.
6. Marijuana Use Leads to Crime
This is one of the facts about marijuana that has fallen by the wayside in some circles, but it is still widely believed by some people. They believe that marijuana use makes people more aggressive and inspires them to commit crimes ranging from burglary to felonious assault. Anybody who has ever been around people who smoke marijuana should know that the drug actually decreases aggression, and that there are plenty of occasional users that are gainfully employed and who would never commit a violent crime. The only crime they are guilty of is possessing and using an illicit substance, and even that only counts in states where it is still illegal.
Stay informed and don’t believe the BS!