Marijuana - the Real Deal
Research on the long-term effects of marijuana abuse indicates some changes in the brain, similar to those seen after long-term abuse of other major drugs.
For example, cannabinoid withdrawal in chronically exposed animals leads to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine. Dopamine neurons are involved in the regulation of motivation and reward, and are directly or indirectly affected by all drugs of abuse...
In simple terms, being a pothead and smoking up all the time can lead to long-term side-effects.
Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction, i.e., compulsive drug-seeking and abuse despite its known harmful effects upon social functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities.
Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit. These withdrawal symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2-3 days, and subside within 1-2 weeks following drug cessation.
A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.
With marijuana (as with other drugs), proponents of its use site other studies and have contradictory opinions.
Contributors weigh in with the following:
- The definitive study of the long-term health effects of marijuana to date was done by Kaiser Permanente. They surveyed the health records of 65,000 patients over a long period of time. They found no significant differences in the health records of pot smokers versus people who did not smoke pot. See http://www.druglibrary.org/crl/aging/Sidney-01.HTML
Their conclusions: Marijuana use in a prepaid health care-based study cohort had little effect on non-AIDS mortality in men and on total mortality in women.
This is consistent with the results of the health studies of every major government commission report on the drug laws from around the world since 1894. These reports can be found at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.
- Let's be real here and take a look at what medical cannabis patients are doing, especially in California, where there seems to be more data available to us on the benefits and dangers of cannabis usage. In other words, if you are authorized to use cannabis medically, use a vaporizer, cook with it, make oils or tinctures - never smoke cannabis, and don't use cigarettes. Be responsible and look and review thoughtfully all sides of the issue, including a recent 2004 study on the use and safety of vaporizers
- Certain studies (whatever that means) have shown that marijuana smoke does not cause lung caner nearly as fast as cigarettes because of some chemical that prevents something from doing something. We can't rely on any studies now because there is so much propaganda floating around, but there's one big point that makes all cancer arguments null and void. There are 2 ways to use marijuana that eliminate the smoke part. You can cook it in butter and ingest it for much stronger effects with none of the bad side-effects of cancer. You can also vaporize it, which doesn't burn any plant matter and only turns the THC to vapor form which also prevents the breathing of smoke.
- Medicinal marijuana has been found to have certain benefits. It can alleviate vascular pressure associated with glaucoma and lessen the effects of stress. It has a peristaltic effect on the digestive tract, meaning that it encourages movements of food through the digestive system. It is used in some spiritual and ritual practices because of the trance-like effects it can produce. There are probably other benefits not listed here. The issue is that medicinal, good quality, marijuana is very difficult to come by. Most street marijuana has been laced with other chemicals, like rat poison and other insecticides. These increase the feeling of intoxication. Obviously, if a chemical would kill another form of life, it would not be good for you. You need to suspect any street drug of containing harmful chemicals. Smoking, by itself, is a very efficient way to introduce any substance into your bloodstream. Smoking anything, whether it is crack cocaine, marijuana, cigarettes, or oak leaves, kills the source of our life, oxygen. You'd have to add the perils of smoking on top of any inherent detriment the original substance contains to accurately determine the level of risk. Another factor to consider is that marijuana is currently illegal. During prohibition, alcohol was consumed. But there was a lot more stress and risk involved in having a drink 80 years ago than having one today. If you smoke a joint and end up incarcerated, how good would that be for you? Sometimes, you need to be practical.
- I truly don't believe marijuana is bad for you. It's a tool, if one knows how to use it. It can be very beneficial, but if one doesn't, it can ruin your life. I have had amazing experiences that have made me a more peaceful, loving, open-minded person who enjoys life. It is not worse then cigarettes. It is just useful if used in a good, relaxing, mind escaping, and mind expanding way.
- I really think that marijuana is NOT that bad for you. In fact, marijuana has never been proven to have killed anyone on its own. Compare that to alcohol and it makes you wonder how one thing so dangerous can be legal and another that has proven to be a lot less dangerous to your life.
- Marijuana is better for you than lighting up a cigarette. Cigarettes have things like tar and other unnatural things that will turn your lungs black and give you cancer, while marijuana doesn't. The difference is a) marijuana affects you more, b) cigarettes are legal, and c) there are no deaths recorded that have come from Marijuana alone.
- Marijuana is a depressant, like alcohol, but with different effects. People high on marijuana supposedly want peace and harmony. Reportedly marijuana DECREASES violent thoughts and activities. Harmful effects are the same as smoking cigarettes.
- A lot of people think smoking marijuana is better than cigarettes, but one joint has the same amount of harmful affects (tar buildup in lungs etc.) as five cigarettes. Marijuana has other bad affects like irritability, stress, and "munchies" that cigarettes don't always have. But marijuana is less harmful than other drugs that you can overdose and die from.
- Marijuana may lead to other harder drugs.
- I'm a 16-year-old male and I am constantly surrounded by drugs. I've been smoking marijuana the last 4 years on a daily basis. But, honestly, I think I've been poisoned because, no matter what, I can never seem to have the courage to quit marijuana. I think the marijuana I smoke is laced with crack or some chemical, because I always get the worst chemical taste in my mouth. I wish I had never tried it. Marijuana has left me with psychological damage. Take my advice... don't smoke marijuana.
- I'm a 15-year-old that used to smoke marijuana with my friends a lot. But, I have been off it for the last 3-4 months. Reasoning is, YES, it is bad for you. Any smoke you inhale, whether it's from your backyard barbecue or a gram of marijuana, will harm your body.
- One study found that an abuser's risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana, probably because it increases both blood pressure and heart rate and reduces oxygen-carrying capacity of blood.
- Marijuana grows from the ground, so obviously God made it. You don't see people smoking poison ivy or bamboo trees, do you? Just because God made it, doesn't mean it's meant for what you think it should be used for. You could get high from marijuana, it's plain and simple. It alters your brain cells in some way and that is not a positive thing. A daily marijuana smoker would logically be the same as a daily white out and toxic sharpies inhaler. When I was under the influence, I noticed I picked up short term memory. Did it just magically appear there or was it the marijuana I smoked? Please don't be dumb and make it a habit. I swear it will ruin your life socially, financially, and mentally. I admit I wanted weed legalized for a while, before I realized how much harm it could cause to society.
- It's possible to overdose on anything, even water, but a person is physically unable to kill themselves by smoking or using marijuana by itself. You cannot get THC (active ingredient in marijuana) into your blood stream fast enough to overdose and furthermore you would pass out from lack of oxygen long before you'd OD from smoking. If you compare marijuana to alcohol or tobacco, it isn't even close which is more harmful. Alcohol and tobacco killed over 5.5 MILLION people last year.
- I agree that many people can smoke marijuana and have virtually no health effects whatsoever (other than the high) whereas others are effected to a point where they cannot see straight and cannot operate their motor functions. Like alcohol, there is a specific consumption limit of each individual person. Depending on the amount, the way marijuana is taken, and the size/weight of the person, marijuana can effect individuals in different ways. It can be very dangerous for the baby when pregnant women smoke.
- I tincture herbs and I feel that the most damaging facet of marijuana is the inhalation when you smoke it. Tobacco (not cigarettes, pure tobacco) even has healing properties. I do believe marijuana & tobacco (as well as all things that grow free) have a practical purpose in our world.
- Most of the things you hear about marijuana are myths. One piece of evidence that anti-drug agencies use in defense of it being illegal is that it contains over 1000 chemicals, some of which are cancer causing agents. But, the fact is, most things do. Coffee, for example, contains 800 chemicals. 16 of these chemicals were tested on lab animals and ended up giving them cancer. But, coffee is considered relatively safe, even healthy in some regards. Marijuana, like everything else, has its positives and negatives.
- I have smoked since I was 13. I don't think it makes you stupid, but I failed 7th and 9th grade because I was too busy thinking about the next party. I went to my first rehab when I was 15 because I failed a drug test. When I was 20 I lost custody of my daughter and made my 2nd trip to rehab because of a failed drug test in a custody battle with my ex. When I was 22 I got busted with 2 joints and made my 3rd trip to rehab, spent 2 weeks in jail, lost my license, and paid the state of Alabama. Now, I ask you, does that sound smart to you? I have since quit smoking and got my daughter back. But, I was just lucky. Not everyone gets their child back. Marijuana probably won't kill you by itself and it probably won't make you stupid, but what happens to you when you get caught can make you wish you were dead.
- I am a 17-year-old healthy male. I smoke marijuana every single day and have been doing so since I was 13. Although smoking marijuana can cause harm to our lungs, so can smoking cigarettes. Marijuana has a lot of positive effects in our world such as treating a source of pain relief for cancer patients and reducing the expectancy of getting Alzheimer's disease. As for it making you depressed, you are who you are. I am a happy person. I smoke three to four joints a day and I hardly feel depressed. It actually acts as a stress relaxer for me. I get home from a long day, I sit back, smoke a joint & watch a movie. I have never smoked marijuana that was laced with crack or chemicals of any kind, because if you're going to do something, you might as well know where it's coming from and what's in it. If you're going to smoke marijuana, you need to do it responsibly, know where you're getting it from, and if you can trust the person you're getting it from. Don't walk out on a corner of a street trying to buy it. That's where you fine people who will poison you for profit. Instead, make friends with someone who you know so you will always be safe. It's no different then being a responsible drinker.
- If you have read this far, you will already know the pros and cons of smoking marijuana, such as dangers to health, the feeling you get, etc. So, instead of going over what we know scientifically, I thought I would give you an example of a typical marijuana smoker - myself. I started smoking chronic when I was 13 at lunchtimes during school and have been smoking at least once every three days on my pipe since then. I don't smoke cigarettes. I believe it's pointless and a pretty dumb thing to do. I am now 16, sound of body and mind, and when I do manage to get out of bed to go to school, I do well in my academic studies. I am popular among my peers, I have a beautiful girlfriend, and all-in-all i would say, with my hand on my heart, I am a happy individual.
- Marijuana is not a depressant like alcohol. It is a mild hallucinogen. I've noticed that for a few days after I smoke it, my immune system seems a little weaker. The smoke can also burn your throat and lungs if you don't do it properly.
- There are many opinions about marijuana and other such things that are made out to seem "bad" by society. Yes, if marijuana is smoked it causes cancer, but then again, what in the world doesn't cause cancer? It is obvious that marijuana is bad for you. Smoke is bad in general, whether it be marijuana, cigarettes, BBQ, or chimney smoke. But, that doesn't necessarily make the other effects of things bad. There are so many effects in so many things and not all of them can possibly be all good or all bad. What effects outweigh the others are all opinions. There are so many facts you can find that both support and demoralize everything, you can't possibly believe what you read any more; everything contradicts everything else and you end up in circles. You can find the fact online that marijuana is 25 times worse than a cigarette, but you can also find the fact that marijuana has fewer carcinogens than cigarettes. A study states that there has not been one case of lung cancer due to marijuana; another states that marijuana users are just as likely to get cancer; yet another states it raises the chances of cancer even more. Which do you believe? Whichever side you pick, someone is going to say you are wrong so what can you really rely on but yourself? Decide for yourself. Have a mind for your body. You will only stir up more confusion in yourself when you hand the decision over to the world because all it will offer you are two sides to the same thing. Society has come to the conclusion that every move we make in our lives, it will result in damage to our body.
- Like anything else taken in moderation, smoking the odd bit of marijuana shouldn't hurt. There are some people that prefer it to alcohol and don't get a hang-over from it. It also is used for medical purposes such as nausea relief while undergoing Chemo or Radiation Therapy. It has even been administered to some people with types of very painful arthritis.
- I have a girlfriend that admits she is a "burn out" from marijuana. She didn't do LSD, acid, etc. She is slow in thinking, jittery, and gets confused easily. I do believe, if one smokes a lot of marijuana, it can indeed do damage to the brain.
- When I joined the B.C. Lung Assoc. to quit smoking they said that 1 joint was as bad as smoking 25 cigarettes. I could believe that. The other problem with smoking marijuana started in the late 60s when dealers mix in other drugs (street drugs) to hook their customers on to something stronger. They said it in the media in an interview and I believe it. Unless one knows it's pure, it's best to stay away from it.
- I also agree with the poster that said marijuana and cigarettes which were pure at one time were harmless. I believe this too. Tobacco companies started adding chemicals into their cigarettes aiming at the youth of that generation to hook them on cigarettes. It hasn't been the same since. Our governments know about it and, as they howl how bad it is for you, they do nothing about it because the revenue is just too darn good for them! In New Zealand, the government thinks it's a health risk so they didn't "talk-the-talk", but "walked-the-walk". The government paid fully for all aids to help people quit smoking. The U.S. and Canada have yet to do this. It is also true that many of our foods can do as much damage to us as anything cigarettes or marijuana can do. The FDA doesn't always tell us the truth.
Isn't it odd that they can pit one side against the another about the use of marijuana or smoking a regular cigarette, but do little about alcohol. I actually phoned the Lung Assoc. in British Columbia and I taped it! Illegal yes, but it was too interesting to pass up. I acted like I was a non-smoker and asked them where they got their statistics from. This is exactly the quote I got, "Oh, they are actually guesstimates." I then phoned MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Drivers) and they had the exact statistics because they work with the police on deaths related to alcohol. Those statistics were far higher in death rates than smokers or marijuana users.
I fear if society or government interfere in some things (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else) then they will rule over many things we do and it will be no longer a free democracy. Already it isn't and we are seeing changes in British Columbia at least. Now it's "we have to do something about over-weight kids" to "cigarettes" (again no word of alcohol) to what's next? If you are over-weight you don't get quality medical care and the same thing goes for marijuana or cigarette smokers. British Columbia has legalized marijuana in hopes it would stop grow-ops. It's the government's way of supposedly legalizing it for medicinal purposes for the sick and getting a big fat revenue out it. Grow-ops are popping up faster than new subdivisions and one only has to look at the news on TV to see this.
I am by no means saying smoking ANYTHING is good for a person, but neither is drinking!
This came directly from CNN.com :
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Marijuana smoking does not increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer, according to the findings of a new study at the University of California Los Angeles that surprised even the researchers.
They had expected to find that a history of heavy marijuana use, like cigarette smoking, would increase the risk of cancer.
Instead, the study, which compared the lifestyles of 611 Los Angeles County lung cancer patients and 601 patients with head and neck cancers with those of 1,040 people without cancer, found no elevated cancer risk for even the heaviest pot smokers. It did find a 20-fold increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day.
The study results were presented in San Diego Tuesday at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society.
The study was confined to people under age 60 since baby boomers were the most likely age group to have long-term exposure to marijuana, said Dr. Donald Tashkin, senior researcher and professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.
The results should not be taken as a blank check to smoke pot, which has been associated with problems including cognitive impairment and chronic bronchitis, said Dr. John Hansen-Flaschen, chief of pulmonary and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia. He was not involved in the study.
Previous studies showed marijuana tar contained about 50 percent more of the chemicals linked to lung cancer, compared with tobacco tar, Tashkin said. In addition, smoking a marijuana joint deposits four times more tar in the lungs than smoking an equivalent amount of tobacco.
"Marijuana is packed more loosely than tobacco, so there's less filtration through the rod of the cigarette, so more particles will be inhaled," Tashkin said in a statement. "And marijuana smokers typically smoke differently than tobacco smokers -- they hold their breath about four times longer, allowing more time for extra fine particles to deposit in the lung."
He theorized that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a chemical in marijuana smoke that produces its psychotropic effect, may encourage aging, damaged cells to die off before they become cancerous.
Hansen-Flaschen also cautioned a cancer-marijuana link could emerge as baby boomers age and there may be smaller population groups, based on genetics or other factors, still at risk for marijuana-related cancers.
- I smoke pot everyday and I think that people give answers without knowing what marijuana does to you. Marijuana calms me down. It relaxes you. You don't act stupid while your smoking it. Marijuana actually lowers the risk of cancer. It neutralizes the cancer cells and makes them slow down which causes you to be less likely to get cancer. Why do you think they give it to cancer patients? It's not the bad thing people think it is because its against the law. It should be legal. It doesn't cause as much harm as beer and cigarettes. To the person who stated other countries helping their citizens quit smoking: who are the ones who decide to pick up a pack of cigarettes? They don't force you to buy them. We do that on our own. I hate websites like this that down marijuana. For all of you who are against marijuana, you should try it because you won't be as up tight. You would become more relaxed.
- I grew up in the 50's and 60's in Canada. During the 50's there were few drugs around for teens to get into unless you wanted to run the gauntlet of 'the dark side of town' to get drugs. Then the 60's rolled in with hashish and all types of weed, along with acid and LSD. I tried marijuana for a short time, but preferred to have a drink or two. I wasn't stupid enough to risk a bad trip on dropping acid or using LSD. No one said a person on marijuana acted stupid. My nephew was a heavy smoker of marijuana and he began to notice that he was flunking his courses in school. He was a 'couch potato' and had little get up and go. He gained weight mainly from wanting to eat more (caused by marijuana's side effects). He has since stopped smoking marijuana and is so glad he has. He has his energy level back and started to get good grades. Now has a good job and a great girlfriend. He said he'd never go back! A person also runs the risk of marijuana being laced with other chemicals and you can't rely on your provider of marijuana unless you go to a special clinic (as cancer patients do) to receive that marijuana.
Although there are some scientists that are for marijuana, they ALL conclude that marijuana can certainly cause anxiety issues eventually and also panic attacks.
There is no scientific evidence that marijuana slows down cancer cells. People with cancer are given marijuana to help with nausea, pain, and to help them relax.
Marijuana in moderate use is not harmful to you, but what is moderate? Some people smoke up every time they have a hint of 'not wanting to face up to reality.' Terrible way to go through life. Cigarette smokers light up because they feel it relaxes them, but contrary to this belief, it actually pumps you up more (all in your mind) as does alcohol.
- The person above me who said no scientific research says marijuana slows down cancer cells is misinformed. Do your best to factually back up what you're saying, as I am about to back up my statement:
- To the above person: I do my research well. I did go to your website and the key word there is 'may'. Again, I will say that there is no conclusive scientific evidence (because it's in early stages of testing) that smoking marijuana will slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. I highly suggest this website: cannabisnews.com/news/23/thread23488.shtml
- Why does everyone think that just because some right-wing, paid-off scientist told them that marijuana is bad, they can try to change everyone else's thinking about it. I have smoked for a few years now and have not had any effects at all. I know a man who has been smoking for forty years and has no psychological effects nor does he have cancer. If you get marijuana that is laced, don't buy form that seller any more. Right now, I would like to inform you that if you listen and do what I am about to tell you, I hold absolutely no liability for any legal action taken against you. I say, get some seeds and grow your own. It is cheaper and you don't have any harmful chemicals. Smoke it. Eat it. Brew some tea. Vaporize it. I don't care. But, smoking it can have some short term effects such as bronchitis and strong coughs. Just a little NyQuil takes care of that.
- I am 12 years old. I have never smoked marijuana and I will never smoke it. I have, however, read a billion Wiki s articles about it today. Some articles were written by smokers and some by nonsmokers. I don't think anyone should smoke it except for medicinal purposes. However, I think it should be legal for several reasons: 1. Because one of the main reasons people use is because it illegal; 2. Because it's not the government's concern (I mean, who are they to throw people in jail because they smoked something; 3. If marijuana is outlawed, why not outlaw other potentially harmful drugs like maybe coffee or aspirin (we all know that would be wrong as it is not as bad as cigarettes and their legal).
- I have seen marijuana change peoples' lives in the most positive way and I have also seen peoples' lives ruined by doctor prescribed medicines such as xanax, morphine, Oxycontin, and even antibiotics. Aids and cancer patients' quality of life have improved tenfold when prescribed marijuana. They can eat, gain weight, and regain strength which improves immune function, mood, and attitude. Patients with incurable rheumatoid arthritis have seen increased motility and incredible pain control without risking their lives using truly dangerous drugs such as morphine, dilaudid, and Oxycontin, as well as NSAIDS with scary side effects. I agree smoking marijuana is the least healthy way of using this amazing plant, but that is non-issue as there are other means of ingestion such as vaporizers and butter based baked goods. In Canada, thank goodness, most of our society is open minded enough to understand these concepts, as well as our best judicial minds who reject criminalization of a person's right to choose or refuse any medical treatment. We have dominion over our own bodies. The police are now more cautious in demonizing medical and casual users. They keep their enforcement to the giant grow houses and fields in BC. I think kids younger than 18 should not use it, but no one can argue with the differences in danger when comparing marijuana to alcohol in our youth ages 16 - 25 whether it be alcohol poisoning or impaired driving. While I don't have the numbers in front of me, I know that it is impossible to overdose on THC (the component in marijuana that gets you"high"), but it is relatively easy for a binge drinking teen to poison oneself without meaning to. Any substance or act can be psychologically addictive. But, it is the legal drugs and substances such as alcohol, opiates, sleep aids, and anxiety medicines that are much more of a problem because along with the psychological addiction comes a physical addiction. With marijuana there is no physical addiction, only a possibility of psychological addiction. As this website shows, there is too much misinformation and so many different opinions with very little fact. There are too few studies done by companies that have no stake in the results. Even respected ivy league universities get grants from giant pharmaceutical companies. There need to be true, unbiased studies completed by governments and independent parties with no stake in the outcome to sort out facts from fiction. This entire issue regarding youth social use needs to be put into the home where it belongs, away from the police and back to the parents. They are the ones who are teaching their own families morals and rules. They need to be the ones informing and educating, as well as providing control and doling out appropriate punishment when a youth, teen, or young adult breaks the rules. In Canada, we don't send under age drinkers to jail and ruin their lives forever by preventing job opportunities and travel. We are just starting to see the benefits of a more lenient program when it comes to enforcement with regards to small amounts of marijuana. Unfortunately, it is a purely informal, unwritten policy as it is the investigating officer's discretion. Anyway, my answer is marijuana has many wonderful benefits, medicinally and relationally. You need to be mature enough to understand it as a substance and what the consequence will be if you are caught. For example, in the US it can severely hurt your future regarding university, college, and a future good job. The benefits to adults are many. It relieves stress, which in itself is the highest cause of disease in western countries. High stress really hurts the body, your central nervous system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, and immune system. Low stress increases all these functions and when marijuana is used without stress on the respiratory system(without smoking it, either using a vaporizer or putting into baking), it can relax the body and have that magical enlightening feeling of harsh stress just melting away. It is a great pain reliever, as well as an amazing treatment for many horrible painful disorders, such as MS, AIDS, and Cancer. It increases appetite, relieves nausea, improves some digestive issues, relives joint inflammation and pain from arthritis, and has increased not only the length of life of patients suffering from painful, terminal illnesses, but the quality of life, which is much more important. Relationally, it can decrease motivation in some, increase it in others, decrease short term memory in some, increase it in others. All I know personally is, after I was hit by a car going 30 MPH, I was bedridden on serious painkillers (Oxycontin, demerol and morphine). I was so weakened by my pain I had no motivation and I suffered from paralyzing anxiety that seemed to come from nowhere. My doctor suggested medicinal marijuana and it saved my life. I was able to stop the painkillers that were ruining my quality of life. It enabled me to increase my motility and start working on strengthening my back and legs. I haven't looked back. I don't "party". I take a little in the AM before any physical activity (horseback riding, large breed Dog Training, and gardening), before bed to help my body relax, and as needed in certain situations. I buy legally from a Canadian government approved grow-op and don't support the black market. I am grateful for having an open minded doctor who had more knowledge than any other doctor I had ever encountered about this subject. It should only be used by adults though, same as alcohol. Our governments should put a stop to the crime element, regulate it, grow it, and tax it. The government needs to take the market away from the criminal organizations that dominate it and don't always provide a safe product (it is sometimes laced with meth, opium, or cocaine to get you hooked on that one dealer's stuff). Our government must provide safe access to patients in need.
- I have been smoking marijuana for about 5 months now. I'm 15 years old. Every day I get the sensation to smoke a blunt, a bowl, or maybe even a bong. Whatever is there to smoke out of, I'm on it. I smoke in the school parking lot, after school, with friends, at parties, anywhere. I've never laced or tried any other form of drug. I've gone about a week and half without smoking and i felt depressed just after 2 days. I'm trying an experiment [this is day 1 by the way]. I'm going to go 2 weeks without smoking any marijuana. I want to see how my body reacts without the drug. Usually I start to feel really low about myself and i begin to think everything is worthless. My mind thinks to the point of no return and I over analyze everything anyone says to me. Even though I hate the depression side effect, I wouldn't exactly say marijuana is "bad" for you, but I also don't want to encourage the use of it considering the penalties if you get caught. I'll keep updates of how my "experiment" is going. This is day two. I don't smoke cigarettes. I only smoke marijuana and actually I am very mature for my age. I felt very happy today. I was in a good mood a majority of the day until i got home. Then I felt tired and I started to think a lot. Other than that nothing has really been going on. I made it to day 5 and I caved in. By day 5 I was having bad withdrawal symptoms. I was very unhappy and slept most of the days. Now that I've started again i can't stop. I've smoked every day since then and i feel tremendous.
- This kind of drug takes the air out of your lungs! Do you have a girlfriend yet? If not, I am not surprised! Who wants to date someone who has horrible breath, black teeth, and hair on his tongue! Not me!
- I've been doing it for years. I have a girlfriend but I don't have black teeth. I have perfect teeth, no hair on my tongue, and good breath!
- What is up with people thinking marijuana is laced. I've had people tell me they could put cocaine or heroin in it. Cocaine is about $50 a gram and heroin is about $100 or more versus marijuana at about $10 a gram. What I'm trying to say is that dealers would be stupid to lace marijuana if their trying to make money. I might think of it as a bonus if someone laced my bag!! A lot of people on here need to do research. Most of the research you find will be written with bias (not by users) by those who want it to look bad. By doing research myself, I know how easy it is to skew results in your favor. And as for it making people lazy/worthless, those people were going to be worthless regardless of getting high. I do intense scientific research on fish for a living which requires a lot of motivation/concentration. I smoke pot before, during, and after work.
- Don't decriminalize against something you haven't tried! Go smoke some then tell me how BAD it is. Plus, more research needs to be done, but by pot smokers, not feds.
- If marijuana isn't bad for you, why are rehabs filled with marijuana users. Some rehabs are for people who only smoke marijuana. They don't use other drugs. It's important for people, especially kids who are experimenting, to know that marijuana is often addictive. It also can contribute to or cause psychological problems that range from depression to schizophrenia. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or is relying on wishful thinking. It's harmful to spread opinion and wishful thinking as if it were fact. Yes, some people use marijuana and it has no negative impact on their health or other aspects of their lives. But, sit in on a rehab group for people whose drug of choice was "only" pot and you'll see how "safe" it is.
- Well, where to start. I'll take the whole "why are rehab centers filled with people who smoke marijuana if its so safe" statement. Something like 75-80% of those people are in rehab on a court order. Most of them were given the choice of jail or rehab and they chose rehab. The other 25-20% are in there because their parents/spouses/legal guardians sent them there or because they signed themselves in. Now, pertaining to the 15 year old girl up top who had "bad withdrawal symptoms" after she quit for 5 days: I've recently quit smoking marijuana for the time being due to drug-testing for my job and have been clean for 3 weeks. Never did I feel depressed or anxious or irritated. The reason you feel depressed, no offense, is because you're a 15 year old girl. And, if weed makes you happy, that's great. Keep the fire burning by all means. It isn't going to do much to you in the long run except make it a little harder to get around in gym class. And finally, as for the "it makes you stupid and can make you crazy" statements: Last time I took the SAT's, I got a 1980 out of 2400. At that time, I had been smoking marijuana almost every day for 2 years. I know kids who have a 3.9 GPA in college who smoke 3 times a day. I also know kids who smoke everyday and have failed out of college. It's not the marijuana that makes you unmotivated, it is yourself. I never skipped one class in high school or in college yet, and have been smoking marijuana most of the time. To say it makes you crazy is absolutely ridiculous. You let me know the day you smoke a blunt and go beat someone up or start having conversations with yourself. That's the day I'll quit forever. Until that day, I'm going to keep smoking. And, to everyone who does: keep the fire burning.
- The above answer, to many contributors, is useful but contains some misinformation. One is about the figures of people in rehab for marijuana. I've been to rehabs (a half dozen times). Often there were people in treatment who had admitted themselves. In fact, most had admitted themselves. They had determined that whether psychologically or physically addicted, they couldn't stop smoking marijuana and it was negatively impacting their lives. Some complained of depression. (They were adults, not teenagers.) Whether the marijuana was the cause of depression or began smoking marijuana as an attempt to treat their depression (self medication for many psychological disorders is common) at some point didn't matter. They couldn't begin to treat the depression while they were smoking marijuana. Of course, it's true that some, in fact many, people can use marijuana on occasion and there's no dramatic harm, at least in the short term. In the long term there are studied impacts on the lungs, heart, and nervous system. There's a bunch of material about this on the web, including the site for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This organization isn't pushing an agenda. (It's not like the DEA.) NIDA simply researches drugs and attempts to develop and test treatments for addicts and drug abusers. It's also true that some marijuana smokers are high achievers, intelligent, and successful in their school or their careers. That doesn't mean there isn't a deficit in their functioning. It also doesn't measure other things in life that are affected by any drug use, including successful relationships. One problem with marijuana, for some people (including people I know), is that marijuana can be used to smooth over (ignore, deny) problems in ones life. People I know who started smoking as teenagers and who are now adults are emotionally still teenagers. Of course, this isn't true of everyone, but my experience says that it's pretty common. Using marijuana, like drinking or using any drug, is ultimately an individual choice. Medical marijuana is useful for people for whom it helps alleviate pain. But anyone on the fence about using, considering using, considering stopping, or whatever should know the facts and contradicting opinions, which is why this entire Wiki s is useful. People may choose to use or they may choose to stop because of drug testing at work or because of family pressure and the like. I've chosen to stop because I want to experience life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, as clear eyed and clear headed as possible. I'd hate to grow old and think my life was spent in a haze of marijuana smoke. I've met people for whom this was true. They regretted their choice to smoke. I've also met people who felt that the couldn't have faced life without marijuana. It's sad, but as John Lennon said: Whatever gets you through the night. Once again, it's important for users or those considering using to understand the range of experiences, including the potential physical and psychological harms.
- While the above response brings up some good points, there are also some major untruths in there. All the research you read from the NIDA or any government funded drug research program is biased and or untrue. Studies done by independent universities, colleges, and other organizations have found no, absolutely no definite correlation between marijuana and damage to the lungs, heart, or nervous system. Furthermore, you are right, there are people who go into rehab strictly for marijuana use. But, I also know for a fact (I have a girlfriend whose mother has been in and out of rehab many times) that people who go in to rehab for marijuana are also going in for other drugs, such as alcohol or narcotics. And, in my experience, the people who smoke marijuana generally are not effected to the point where they can no longer function or it is ruining their lives. I've been smoking for a very long time and can honestly say that my life has not changed in the least bit. And, I am not an emotionally a "teenager". I attend college and hold my own at formal dinners. I even work part-time in a very serious formal dinner hall. I know CEO's of companies who smoke up one night and the next morning they negotiate multimillion dollar deals. And finally, yes, you are correct in saying that doing any type of drug is, in the end, a personal choice. That is absolutely correct. But, to only give one perspective about a drug, i.e. its nonexistent physical and potential psychological harms, would not only be wrong, but it would be unfair. If you attended a party at which a girl got very inebriated and something terrible happened, like she died or was raped, you may view alcohol as the devil's creation. But, we all know that drinking alcohol does not necessarily lead to that. Just like smoking marijuana does not lead to a life of laziness and emotional immaturity.