The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Marijuana

Marijuana is something that has taken over the world. Some think of it as God’s most beautiful gift to the world. It is a destresser, an aid and an alternative option to many prescription drugs. Others may describe it as something along the lines of the “Devil’s Lettuce”. That it alters people’s minds, causes anxiety and lowers their inhibitions. The usage of marijuana is probably one of the most argued subjects in America right now, and it’s time to finally know the researched pros and cons of the substance.

 

The biggest reason why marijuana is sweeping the nation is the medical use. Marijuana has been proven multiple times to help with many illnesses and diseases. Some include epilepsy, dravet syndrome, cancer, and many more. Not only can it help physical health but it can also help with mental health too. For example, marijuana can help with anxiety, insomnia, PTSD and even aid in recovering from anorexia.  It can also replace many of the medications that people take everyday such as Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall, Ambien and Zoloft. It has even been proven that it can tremendously help the condition of lungs after smoking tobacco. Over the years, Marijuana has transitioned from being considered a drug to an organic herb that helps millions of people deal with their problems in a easier, cheaper and healthier way.

 

 

Another more recent discovery is the financial benefits. Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana and in their first year alone, they had made more that 135 million dollars in taxes alone. They made over 1 billion dollars from the state’s recreational dispensaries overall. Government can also help regulate who is smoking. California, this past election decided to pass the legalization of recreational marijuana, however, just like alcohol you have to be 21 to purchase it and because it is legal, less people buy from drug dealers which make it a lot harder for young teens to get a hold of it.

 

 

    Even though Marijuana has many pros, it also has cons. One of the biggest cons of it is the gateway drug reputation that it has earned itself, which is a very believable reputation. When many addicts talk about their history and how they got to where they were, many start with weed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse “a person who smokes marijuana is more than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries marijuana”. However, the correlation doesn’t necessarily mean that this quote is true. If you think about it, you could say that someone who loves music is 104 times more likely to play an instrument than those who do not like music. Does that mean if you love music, you will automatically love picking up instruments and playing for hours? No, it just means that many people like music and those who don’t would probably not want to go and pick up an instrument. It has actually been proven recently, that weed is not the first drug that people try before becoming addicted to substances. Almost 75% of those people actually try nicotine and alcohol before trying pot or hard drugs. All and all it depends primarily on the individual and their personality.

 

 

Another con is the entirety of smoking the substance. Smoking in general is harmful to the body, no matter the substance it will still do damage to the lungs. Marijuana can also cause anxiety and in some cases in correlated to psychosis. It can affect the short-term memory and also alter social behavior due to the effects on the mind. Also, one major misconception is that it may help fix glaucoma:

"The American Academy of Ophthalmology - the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons - is reminding the public that it does not recommend marijuana or other cannabis products for the treatment of glaucoma. Based on analysis by the National Eye Institute and the Institute of Medicine, the Academy finds no scientific evidence that marijuana is an effective long-term treatment for glaucoma, particularly when compared to the wide variety of prescription medication and surgical treatments available. Ophthalmologists also caution that marijuana has side effects which could further endanger the user's eye health."   

American Academy of Ophthalmology "American Academy of Ophthalmology Reiterates Position that Marijuana is Not Proven Treatment for Glaucoma," aao.org June 27, 2014

    Marijuana is a topic that can either start friendships or wars. Everyone has an opinion on it and most are not willing to budge. Some think it is nothing but a plant that promotes relaxation and natural remedies. Others think of it as nothing but a disgusting gateway drug. At times where opinions are completely split about things you have to look at the facts. Before deciding a stance on a major issue, make sure to do your research. The good, the bad, and the ugly, because every issue has multiple components.

 

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