Bud, Mary Jane, grass, reefer, herb, cannabis, 420; these are all names we know marijuana by. Marijuana has spent decades getting a bad rap, and many stories have been told about it that simply are not true. Remember how they villainized it in D.A.R.E. class? The media, police and general political structure would have us believe marijuana is just as bad as crack or heroin. Fortunately, there has been a societal shift where marijuana usage is becoming more acceptable within society. As a result, it is time to debunk some of those myths we have been indoctrinated into about our friend, Mary Jane.
1. Marijuana kills brain cells
Remember being told this as a scare tactic as to why not to smoke the reefer? Many of us have spent years thinking we were killing off our brain cells. Fortunately, it turns out this is not true! In 2003, Cambridge University compiled data from fifteen previous studies and found that there was little to no difference in cognitive function between weed smokers and non-smokers. A 2015 study by the University of Louisville found the same thing.
2. Smoking pot is worse than cigarettes for your lungs
Another lovely scare tactic that 420 lovers have been told in an effort to dissuade them from smoking. Cigarettes are full of nasty chemicals and additives that are horrible for your lungs, so I have no idea why anyone thought a natural plant would be worse than that. In fact, a national study shows that cannabis smoke is not as bad as cigarette smoke. Another logical conclusion one could have drawn without a study is that most smokers smoke multiple cigarettes a day (a pack a day habit is 20 cigs), which is way more smoking than any pothead could dream of doing.
3. Smoking pot will turn you into a pothead
You know the instant you let that sweet smoke go over your lips and into your lungs you will immediately have to smoke every single day of your life....psych! In reality, most people who smoke pot do so recreationally, just like alcohol. In fact, out of 30 million people who admitted to smoking pot, only about 6 million smoke it on a daily or almost daily basis. Kind of kills the idea that all pot smokers become potheads.
4. Using marijuana a can cause cancer
Really? What a laugh considering the staggering mountains of evidence that pot can not only help cure various forms of cancer, but a myriad of other medical issues as well. The only issue a heavy smoker might run into is lung cancer, but no studies have been done that link heavy pot usage to lung caner either. Of course, delectable marijuana treats, like brownies, have zero chance of causing cancer if you want to be on the uber safe side. This is why doctors often prescribe oral marijuana to their cancer patients.
5. Marijuana as a gateway drug
This is another D.A.R.E. lie we have all heard since we were old enough to be talked to about drug use. While there is a correlation between marijuana usage and using heavier drugs, this has more to do with the fact that so many people get exposed to marijuana. Of course some of them are going to go on and use heavier substances; it i inevitable and has nothing to do with the use of marijuana in the first place. In reality, there are absolutely no studies that can proves causation between smoking bud and going up the drug food chain. Even the Institute of Medicine admits this.
6. All pot smokers are unsuccessful and just lazy
I could make a rather extensive list of fellow pot smokers who are very successful in life, but I will just name a few to make the point. Former NBA coach Phil Jackson, travel writer and PBS host Rick Steves, Martha Stewart, Margaret Mead, swim champion Michael Phelps and the libertarian presidential nominee, Gary Johnson. And that does not even begin to scratch the surface of successful pot smokers.
7. Eating raw weed makes you high
This is an interesting tidbit. Weed either has to be smoked, or it has to be cooked with a fatty substance like butter for oral consumption. Eating a raw bud would just be nasty and leave you really disappointed that you just wasted that weed.
8. Weed use can reduce your sex drive
*Snicker*. Ok. Anyone who actually uses weed believe this one? While this scare tactic is meant for teens, it is totally untrue. In reality, a Canadian study actually showed people enjoy sex more when high (now that is a study I want to be a part of!)
9. Pot is addictive
This is a little harder to tackle. First of all, there is a difference between an actual addiction and a dependency. An addiction is a physiological reaction to a drug, while marijuana dependence is a mental dependence. It is purely psychological. Quitting may have some affects, but you won't be shivering, sweating and barfing at the same time like with withdrawals from a physiological addiction.
10. George Washington grew weed
While this would be awesome, it isn't quite true. He grew hemp, which is different. He thought hemp would be a major cash crop. He was wrong.
So now that we all know a little more truth about marijuana, is it time for a 420 break?