Pot, weed, sticky green stuff, marijuana or ganja.
Whatever you call it, the marijuana plant has secured a place in the hearts and lives of most Americans, as well as our history. With it comes a whole boatload of rumors and myths – some good and some bad.
This has kinda been itching me for a while, so today I will break down a whopping 20 of these myths and debunk them once and for all.
Myth #1 – Marijuana: The “Gateway” Drug
Man, this one has been around forever, and people still believe it. Even the suits in Washington have come out and gone on the record by saying it wasn’t true. The truth is that the most common type of “drugs” that a lot of people start off trying first is really alcohol and tobacco. Stick this myth in your pipe and smoke it DC.
Myth #2 – Vaporizers are Just as Harmful as Joints
With the popularity of marijuana came the invention of the vaporizer. These smoke devices heat up the marijuana to extremely hot degrees and turn it into vapor instead of smoke. Because of this, most of the harmful chemicals we inhale from burning marijuana are non-existent and lead some health experts to agree that vaping is a healthy way to smoke marijuana.
Myth #3 – Stoners are Just Lazy
Thanks to movies like Up in Smoke, Half Baked and Harold & Kumar, the world has this idea that smoking weed automatically makes you unmotivated and lazy. There are just too many successful potheads to name them all, but I can safely say they are in entertainment, business and even politics (yea, I’m looking at you, Obama!).
Myth #4 – We Know What a Stoner Looks Like
This one kind of goes along with #3. Movies have only helped promote the typical stoner look. The truth is, since there are smokers in every type of business and profession, there is an endless supply of stoner looks.
Myth #5 – Driving High is as Bad as Driving Drunk
Pounding a few beers and driving home is a pretty dumb idea, everyone knows that. What about smoking a J and hitting the open road? While it may not be the smartest move, there is nothing proving that driving stoned is even remotely as bad as driving drunk. There have been studies and experiments that actually prove there is very little evidence to support this ridiculous idea.
Myth #6 – No Proof of Marijuana’s Medicinal Value
You can’t get into any lively debate (or straight up argument) about legalizing weed without some moron saying, “Where is the proof medical marijuana works?” That is the problem with the debate over marijuana these days. Too many people are simply ill-informed of the real information out there. In 1999 the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine issued a White House-sponsored report verifying the medicinal uses of marijuana.
Myth #7 – Cannabis Causes Cell Damage
Another health-related myth seemingly created just to scare people. Science has shown this to not be the case at all.
Myth #8 – Marijuana Damages the Brain
In 1974, Dr. Robert Heath set up an experiment in which marijuana smoke was pumped into monkeys, and then their brains were examined. His findings were that the monkeys had brain damage as a result of the marijuana smoke. In reality, they had brain damage because they were not receiving enough oxygen to their brain, and had nothing to do with the marijuana smoke itself. Our great American government knew about the original marijuana monkey study results and the truth behind it, and not until more recently did they finally come out and admit they had lied to us for years
Myth #9 – Marijuana Reform is Politically Risky
How many of you actually think about politics and the slimy bastards that run our country when you back your bong or vape? Not too many I’m guessing. Don’t worry, I don’t either, but there are reasons to think about these things sometimes. It is up to these people whether we see an end to marijuana prohibition or not, and we are the ones that vote for these people and tells them what to do. When those who are meant to represent you tell you they cannot support marijuana, be sure to remind them about all of the polls and surveys that are confirming a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana.
Myth #10 – Marijuana Leads to a Life of Crime
What we have here is a case of which came first – the crime or the weed? It is very true that a lot of criminals smoke marijuana daily, but there is no evidence stating that marijuana causes this criminal behavior. Since marijuana is still a highly illegal drug in most of the country (and world), yet still very readily available to anyone, it is no surprise that those in a life of crime will turn to this easy and inexpensive illegal drug.
Myth #11 – Marijuana is Non-Addictive
What do you define as addiction? That is the question this marijuana myth is really asking. While we have been told by pro-marijuana supporters that weed is not addictive, they have been wrong or rather living in a weird grey limbo area. While you will not see stoners begging for change to score their next fix, regular users will go through some minor withdrawal symptoms. These include things as loss of appetite, insomnia, and irritability, but they usually do not last long. This addiction to marijuana is akin to caffeine addiction. It is more the habit and not so much a physical addiction.
Myth #12 – Smoking Weed Causes Lung Cancer
Against what most people would consider common sense, smoking ganja does not give you lung cancer. I’m not telling you guys that smoking weed is healthy or something, and it does come with some risks. Things like respiratory issues and other breathing type illnesses can be increased by smoking weed. Now if you are smart and decide to go the edibles route, then these risks are dropped down to zero.
Myth #13 – All Weed is Bad for Children
I’m not telling you to let your little one toke up with you after preschool, but there are high CBD strains made into oils that are given to children that can help with severe health issues.
Myth #14 – Teen Use has Increased in the Medical Use States
People who are against the inevitable legalization of marijuana like to claim that weed will poison our country’s youth and create a generation of drug users. Contrary to this doom and gloom outlook, recent studies are showing that medical marijuana states are not dealing with a wave of young potheads.
Myth #15 – Marijuana Will Make You Crazy
Weed will probably make you crazy hungry or even crazy tired, but in complete contrast to the Reefer Madness people out there, marijuana will not drive you insane. A recent Harvard study shows that there is no connection between marijuana use and psychosis. What other studies are finding are that there are some brain changes in marijuana users that began smoking at a young age. The problem here is figuring out whether these brain changes were already present before smoking weed or not.
Myth #16 – Marijuana is Guaranteed to Wreck Your Immune System
Again we have people just trying to strike fear into the sheep of the world. There has been evidence that the sticky icky can have an effect on immune cells and even that marijuana use definitely affects the immune system in general, nobody is sure yet exactly what these effects have on us.
Myth #17 – Hemp and Marijuana are the Same
Even though hippies love both, hemp and marijuana are not the same things. Sure, they both come from the same family, but are you and your crazy brother the same person? Hemp is a version of the cannabis plant that has almost no THC; and as we all know, that is what gets you high. So what is the point of growing this plant? Hemp can be used to create many different products – everything from paper and rope to clothing and oils. It is because hemp can do all this for a fraction of the cost, that Corporate America has a hand in lobbying against the legalization of marijuana on any level.
Myth #18 – Marijuana Cures Illnesses
Weed is great at helping relieve a lot of symptoms but is not actually shown to cure any of them. Patients dealing with things such as cancer and glaucoma have symptoms that are greatly affected and eased by the use of marijuana, but there is no proof that these are cured in these patients. In the case of glaucoma patients, the evidence tends to show that FDA approved drugs on the market work just as well or better than marijuana.
Myth #19 – Marijuana Prohibition is Working
Those who want to keep marijuana illegal would love to have us all believe that marijuana prohibition is working to keep us all safe from this vile little plant. Too bad they do not have the proof to back it up. Looking at the Netherlands and their laid back drug laws versus America and are much stricter laws, it appears that the number of users (and abusers) is about the same. If marijuana prohibition was working, we should see a lower amount of users in the States.
Myth #20 – The War on Drugs is Working
The War on Drugs is costing, as in costing us a lot of money and hassle. Want to know how to save over $8 billion a year? Legal weed across the board. According to one Harvard economist, that is how much money would be saved between the states and the federal government by legalization the plant.