Sorry, But Marijuana Isn't The Miracle Drug

Sorry, But Marijuana Isn't The Miracle Drug

It isn't the end-all-be-all of medical breakthroughs like you think.
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Everywhere you look these days marijuana is being legalized and praised. Whether it's for medicinal or recreational purposes, states have been legalizing in quick succession over the last few years.

Most recently, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. all have policy makers who are pushing for legalization by the end of 2017.

Medicinal marijuana isn't without its benefits: It can be used to treat glaucoma, may help reverse the effects of long-term tobacco use (and therefore improve lung function), it can control epileptic seizures, stop cancer from spreading, decrease anxiety, and so much more.

But here's my unpopular opinion: I don't think marijuana is the miracle drug everyone claims it is. I think that the actual benefits are shadowed by the belief that there even are benefits.

While I think that there are a ton of incredible uses for medicinal marijuana, I also believe that the prescription drugs that have been developed by the "evil" Big Pharma aren't as disastrous and dangerous as they're made out to be. Trust me, I dislike Big Pharma as much as the next guy, but there are tons of cogs in that machine who truly care about the people they're developing drugs for.

I'm not the only one who has this view. Penny Whiting and her colleagues did a study analyzing 79 randomized trials over the medical effects of medical marijuana, and found that "most of the studies showed improvements among the participants taking the cannabinoid products over those using placebo, but in many, the scientists admitted that they could not be sure that the effect wasn’t simply due to chance since the association was not statistically significant."

This is concerning on its own, as the claims being made by marijuana activists aren't necessarily accurate.

This is what concerns me as someone who is going into the medical field. The rhetoric of activists is that anything produced by Big Pharma is toxic and dangerous, while marijuana is natural and will be better than anything Big Pharma produces.

This rhetoric is so incredibly dangerous. There are going to be people who drop the medications they HAVE TO HAVE for illnesses they cannot control in favor of something that is "natural" like marijuana (spoiler alert: it isn't always natural).

I know Big Pharma has done a lot of questionable and horrible things, but they have also produced life-saving things, such as insulin, chemotherapy, and beta blockers; the list goes on.

I worry that as marijuana becomes legalized across the country (and it will, eventually) public health will suffer rather than thrive. More people are going to suffer rather than there be this incredible medical revival that activists are claiming.

Cover Image Credit: Huff Post

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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We Need To Stop Ignoring Addiction And Actually See It For The Disease It Is

BE KIND.

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Addiction means something different to each and every person. To some it is something they or loved ones have had to deal with, others see it in celebrities/people they look up to, and some really know nothing of it other than media or television.

But to me, it is nothing to be ashamed of.

People can be addicted to many things from shopping to eating, yet where the stigma comes in is when we start dealing with drugs or alcohol. Don't get me wrong, those things are nothing to be proud of but we should NEVER be treating these people like less than, especially if they open up and want help.

I firmly believe that addiction is a disease and not only it being a disease but it can also be in a family's gene pool. Many people and researchers such as the Center on Addiction, Health Harvard Blog, and Addiction Campuses believe that it is a chronic disease. Research is showing how some people are more susceptible (genes). In knowing this, we cannot be pushing these people away and making them feel worse than they already do. We can't just stand by and help them in a way only conducive to yourself.

There are many different ways to help people with addiction. Taking them to get help, not embarrassing them, respecting them as a person, and most importantly to be kind. The ignominy that comes from being an "addict" in our society let alone wanting to open up to someone and ask for help is downright scary.

If someone ever reaches out notice how brave they are and take them in with an open mind. If you see someone with a problem with drugs or alcohol do not try to judge them because if we do that we are further ostracizing addicts from society. Do not let this be a disease we refuse to acknowledge and lose even more of our loved ones.

Above all else BE KIND.

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