We’ve all been exposed to anti-cannabis propaganda in some way or another. It may have been through programs and demonstrations in your school or through other means, and you may not have viewed it as propaganda at the time, but you were exposed to it nonetheless. What you also may not have been aware of is that many of the arguments presented in those demonstrations were composed of half-truths and, in some cases, complete fabrications.
Hopefully, this article will clear a few things up.
1. Marijuana causes lung cancer.
Right off the bat, this point has absolutely no scientific evidence to support it.
Authorities have argued for years that marijuana is just as dangerous as tobacco products when it comes to causing lung cancer. This is interesting, however, seeing as they are unable to show us a single case in which this is true.
The idea that there is evidence to show how smoking marijuana can increase your chances of getting lung cancer is a completely ridiculous one. If they had the evidence of marijuana having any of the detrimental health effects that we’ve seen in tobacco use, they’d be parading images of emphysema, lung cancer, black lung, etc. all over the media.
This is what your lungs look like from smoking cigarettes. And those things are legal.
So how come we’ve never seen any of these images associated with weed? Easy. It’s because there aren’t any. No one has ever found a case in which marijuana use alone has caused these symptoms in anyone.
Now, I’m not saying that smoking weed has no effects to your overall health when you smoke it. I mean, you’re still inhaling smoke, and you do need to do it moderately because it can paralyze the cilia in the lining of the windpipe. But it certainly isn’t radioactive and it’s not going to give you cancer. Any negative health effects are coming from the fact that you’re inhaling heated plant matter into your lungs. A study published in January’s Journal of the American Medical Association tested the lung function of over 5,000 young adults and found that after twenty years, regular weed smokers showed no discernible impairment in lung activity from non-smokers.
Here’s the bottom line: there isn’t a single recorded death attributed to smoking marijuana. That's saying a lot because there are lots of recorded deaths for these products: tobacco, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, aspirin, and even coffee.
That's right. More people have died from consuming too much caffeine than from marijuana.
2. Marijuana kills your brain cells.
This should be a familiar image – It’s a very common staple in anti-weed propaganda. Basically anyone who’s attended a demonstration of the proposed negative health effects of marijuana in your high school or elsewhere is used to the image of the cartoonishly ridiculous “dumb pothead” caricature that we are too often exposed to as an attempt to discourage cannabis use.
This caricature is also commonly known as Keanu Reeves.
What isn’t as familiar to us is where this “dumb pothead” image actually came from. It’s apparently based on an allegation that marijuana destroys your brain cells and inherently makes you stupid. Authorities go so far as to declare that this has been scientifically proven.
However, just like the allegations made by “Conspiracy Keanu,” this is absolute nonsense.
This entire idea is based around a 1974 study that involved observing the affects of marijuana on lab monkeys. The monkeys were apparently given the equivalent of 30 joints a day and as a result of this, ended up dying within 90 days. When the scientist conducting the study compared the monkeys’ dead brain cells to the average amount of those found in monkeys who hadn’t smoked the marijuana, he found that the former had far more dead brain cells than the latter.
Picture unrelated: This is the first image that shows up on Google when you search “high monkey”.
This study seemed conclusive enough, and was apparently convincing enough for former President Ronald Reagan to stand behind the study and announce that smoking marijuana caused permanent brain damage.
Here’s what they don’t tell you though:
After six years of requests, the conditions under which the study was performed were revealed. Instead of administering 30 joints a day for one year as was originally suggested, the scientist conducting the study used a method of pumping sixty-three Columbia-strength joints through a gas mask for five minute periods over three months.
So, yeah… No shit they got brain damage and died. The bastard fucking suffocated them. It’s common knowledge now that four minutes without oxygen will cause brain damage. Five minutes without oxygen every day for 3 months? Well, you get the idea.
Studies since then have shown no evidence of any kind of brain damage. In fact, in 2005, new research suggested that marijuana use might even stimulate brain cell growth. But these studies haven’t gotten the same kind of attention and as such, it is still widely believed that marijuana makes you stupid.
3. Marijuana is a “gateway drug”.
First of all, this is one of the most ridiculous claims I’ve ever heard.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “gateway drug”, the allegation is that the use of marijuana will eventually lead to the use of “harder drugs”, which is to say substances like heroin and cocaine. Basically, what you would be led to believe is that marijuana is some form of stepping stone that opens a doorway to all kinds of nasty substances.
But here’s the truth: every single time it’s been studied they have never found anything in marijuana that’s going to make you feel the need to move on to any other drugs. This is to say that there is no inherent psychopharmacological property in the drug that would push you toward anything else.
“Sure I drink alcohol... but it’s only because I started out on milk.”
For every 104 marijuana users, only one uses cocaine, and less than one uses heroin.
The entire idea is a completely nonsensical argument. If you want to know the real reason behind why anyone might go from marijuana to any other drug, it’s because the people selling the marijuana are the same ones selling the heroin and cocaine.
Look at it this way: drugs are sold through a black market, and because of this, the marijuana dealers are placed in the same circles as the dealers of hard drugs. Because you have this black market, and you have a dealer who’s dealing marijuana and LSD and everything else, you’ve created a situation where a dealer can say “hey man, how’s about trying something stronger?” without any problem.
If the government created a situation where cannabis were regulated and controlled, this whole “gateway drug” thing would be avoided. But of course, they don’t want you to think of it that way because they don’t want the finger pointed at them. Mostly due to the fact that they're basically fucking trolls.
Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I don’t sit in my basement with a tin foil hat on my head. But clearly there are factors in this “war on drugs” that are not being taken into consideration.
So… put that in your pipe and smoke it.