You read that headline and instantly thought "Here we go; some highly devout Catholic girl with a stick up her ass".
Surprise! I can't remember my last mass and my ass is free from sticks. I am just a woman who needs you to know that there is more to this cannabis stuff than you think. I am not saying you are wrong for smoking. I am not saying you are a druggie. I am just here to give you some things to think about since no one else is telling you.
Here is what you know. You smoke, you get high, you sleep, you eat, and repeat. Some feel a sense of relaxation. There are many people using cannabidiol (CBD) for seizures and cancers. There aren't any deaths associated with marijuana. It is so popular that it is not unusual to smell it walking down the street.
Well, let me spill some facts.
Cannabis is a drug. ("Really? Come on." Bare with me, here)Giphy
It alters your brain function by messing with your neurotransmitters. This means that your brain function is actually impaired. You are not normally high. Something is affecting the way you act, speak, and think. You're not going to be your normal self. Do you know how much shit you can get into by accident?
"Yea, but I actually function better with a hit...or two". This might hit a little hard (no pun intended), but welcome to the world of addiction.
"As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. Soon you may need the drug just to feel good. As your drug use increases, you may find that it's increasingly difficult to go without the drug. Attempts to stop drug use may cause intense cravings and make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms)." -Mayo Clinic
Sound familiar? That's the Mayo Clinic's description of drug addiction. Cannabis is not a magical drug that you cannot get addicted to. Pot is so normalized that it's almost taboo if you don't smoke. No one ever talks about being addicted to marijuana, but it happens. Maybe you aren't experiencing it now, but it can happen.
Don't believe me? Narconon.org says "of those going to rehabilitation for addiction to weed, 45 percent are under 21 years of age. When those 24 and younger are included, the percentage rises to 55. Thus it is important to let our youth know the risks, rather than letting them accept the decriminalization campaigns without rebuttal". Is that your age range?
"Okay, okay. But no one has ever overdosed on marijuana. No one ever "died". Every other drug has overdoses".Giphy
The CDC thinks you are 1/4th true. They say it's probably unlikely to overdose, but "the signs of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana but more severe. These signs may include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting. In some cases, these reactions can lead to unintentional injuries such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or poisoning".
(Side note: effects such as anxiety, panic, fast heart rate, delusions, high blood pressure, and vomiting are all typical effects of using marijuana in general...think about that).
How many people do you think were high when they died? In fact, "marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently reported in connection with impaired driving and accidents, including fatal accidents".
Still think I'm lying? Here's one very personal example.
I dated this guy who smoked for the first time. His friend was calm, munching on snacks and watching TV. He, on the other hand, wanted to run. His friend was so high, he didn't really get it. So, the guy I was dating ran out of the house and jumped on top of a moving car. He fell eventually, killing him. He was 16. We were 16. Dated for almost 2 years.
I was not there that night. The autopsy came back with nothing but pot in his system. Maybe it was laced and it didn't show up on the 200+ they test for. It is possible. But that's just part of the problem. Like every other recreational drug, there is no way to "check" your stuff is the true stuff. You have no idea what you're actually smoking.
"I literally only feel good for a few hours and then it's done. Nothing else is happening"Giphy
Surprise #108201! More is happening than you think.
IQ's are decreased (especially if you started young). Although it might help with anxiety and depression for some, marijuana use can actually cause anxiety and depression. Early marijuana may cause impaired school performance and an increased risk of dropping out of school. Your memory and attention are affected. You are at an increased risk for harm. You can become addicted. It may lead to other substance abuses. Cannabis is not risk-free.
"..What about the little children who don't have seizures anymore?
As a nursing student and nursing assistant, I promise to do no harm. I believe that cannabis might be really beneficial when used correctly and safely.
Just like every other "recreational" drug.
Benzo's and opioids, for example, are extremely beneficial until you become dependent and abuse them. Although cannabis might not seem as "hard" a drug like opioids, it has the potential to be abused and become dependent upon. That is what is so hard about marijuana. It is so popular, that people forget it is a drug and that you can become addicted.
So, back to the cute toddler who now doesn't have seizures anymore after using THC. That is awesome! Sometimes, no other drugs work to control seizures. It is more common than you think. Some have to have a special diet in order to control that (side note: how cool is it that just by diet change your body can prevent seizures?).
So, if you have seizures and nothing else works, that is great news. But this shouldn't be your excuse to use it. Because it helps prevent seizures in a toddler, doesn't give you permission to use it.
So, wrap it up.
Marijuana is not a drug killing people left and right. Many people have no adverse effects. But, it is a drug. It still messes with your thought processes and it definitely has the potential to become addictive.
The thought that marijuana is harmless and is just a fun recreational activity needs to be addressed.
Once again, I am not telling you that you are wrong. I am not telling you that you are going to hell. I just want you to think.
It is starting to become legalized recreationally. I believe it is important to know all the facts before you start. Just like alcohol, it might be legal, but it doesn't mean it does not have the potential to be dangerous. Marijuana isn't magical. There are side effects.