Let’s get straight to the meat of it – Marijuana is not good for you. If you find yourself offended by this statement, breathe and think about it for a minute. People acknowledge that cigarettes are unhealthy. People acknowledge that alcohol is unhealthy. People acknowledge that cake is unhealthy. People are resistant to the idea that pot is unhealthy – why? It is not a personal attack and this is not about medicinal marijuana – which we do believe has its place.
Factoid #1: MARIJUANA AFFECTS BRAIN DEVELOPMENT – “When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent. This means that someone who uses marijuana may not do as well in school and may have trouble remembering things.
Developing brains, like those in babies and children, are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of marijuana. Although scientists are still learning about these effects of marijuana on the developing brain, studies show that marijuana use by mothers during pregnancy may be linked to problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior problems in their children.” (CDC)
A large longitudinal study in New Zealand found that persistent marijuana use disorder with frequent use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 6 or up to 8 IQ points measured in mid-adulthood. Significantly, in that study, those who used marijuana heavily as teenagers and quit using as adults did not recover the lost IQ points.” (Drugabuse.gov)
Factoid #2:ANINCREASED RISK OF HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES – “Studies have shown smoking marijuana can have a big effect on heart rate and blood pressure, including: High heart rate and blood pressure and an increase in the report of chest pains when exercising among people with existing chest pain.Previous research has found a significant increase in the risk of heart attack in the hours after marijuana use… Smoking marijuana can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to small blood vessels. It could also lead to increased risk for stroke, mini-stroke, and heart disease.” (CDC)
Factoid #3: IT’S BAD FOR YOUR LUNGS – “Smoke is harmful to lung health. Toxins and carcinogens are released when marijuana is burned. When these toxins and carcinogens are smoked, they are inhaled into the lungs, increasing health risks. Smoke from marijuana contains many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana can lead to a greater risk of bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production. These symptoms generally improve when marijuana smokers quit.” (CDC)
Factoid #4: NO, IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER DRIVER – “Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.
Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones.Two large European studies found that drivers with THC in their blood were roughly twice as likely to be culpable for a fatal crash than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol... Those involved in vehicle crashes with THC in their blood, particularly higher levels, are three to seven times more likely to be responsible for the incident than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol. The risk associated with marijuana in combination with alcohol appears to be greater than that for either drug by itself.” (Drugabuse.gov)
Factoid #5: MARIJUANA AND MENTAL HEALTH ARE NOT FRIENDS – “Marijuana users are significantly more likely than nonusers to develop chronic mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that aren’t really there (hallucinations). Some marijuana users have an increased risk for psychosis (loss of reality), a serious mental disorder where people have false thoughts (delusions). Marijuana use has also been linked with depression and anxiety, and with suicidal thoughts among teens. However, it is not known whether this is a causal relationship or simply an association. Marijuana use can trigger psychosis in people with schizophrenia.” (CDC)
Factoid #6: YOU CAN BECOME ADDICTED – “Research shows that about 1 in 6 teens who repeatedly use marijuana can become addicted, which means that they may make unsuccessful efforts to quit using marijuana or may give up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.” (CDC)
For more info, check out the Ventura County Limits website.