If you asked people 30 years ago about marijuana, most of them would tell you it was terrible. It was a gateway drug that needed to be avoided at all costs. Only bad people used it, and it was a nuisance. No good could come from the drug, and it was best left untouched.
Fast-forward 30 years, and the world is a different place. And the view on marijuana is entirely different. It has been legalized in a handful of states for recreational purposes and in many more for medicinal usage.
Still, many myths persist about the drug. So, what untruths continue to eat away at the positives of marijuana?
Prison Time for Marijuana Possession
Yes, this is real. However, the view on possession and the actual number of people inside prisons for it don’t exactly match up with the picture most people have in society. If you ask any citizen on the street about the number of individuals in prison for marijuana, they’d probably give you a high number.
According to the numbers, 750,000 people get arrested for crimes involving marijuana every year. However, hardly any of them end up serving time. Most receive fines or community service. It’s actually a myth that prisons become packed with marijuana users and dealers — although that doesn’t change the fact that it’s silly for people to get in trouble for having it in some states and not in others. Legalization across the nation would be the best way to combat unnecessary criminal charges.
Marijuana Smoke and Cancer
Sure, marijuana smoke contains carcinogens. Almost every type of smoke does. However, that’s where the similarities end between marijuana smoke and cigarette smoke. Those against marijuana use claim pot smoke is horrendous for you. It’s just as dangerous as cigarette smoke, they say. This is not true.
It’s not the smoke itself but the amount of pot consumed. It’s vastly challenging to smoke the same amount of weed when comparing the equal value to cigarettes. Marijuana doesn’t make it easier to contract lung cancer. Cigarettes seem worse for you than weed in a lot of different ways.
Marijuana Usage Leads to Other Drugs
Not true. It’s so easy for people who haven’t researched it to say using marijuana leads to using other drugs. They think if you start with a “soft” drug, eventually you’ll get bored. You need to find something that will beat that high. That leads to heroin and other hard drugs.
There’s not a lot of evidence that people starting with marijuana progress into harder drugs. It’s a weak myth perpetuated by uninformed people.
Users Grow Dependent on Weed
It’s also a common misconception that marijuana can lead you to dependence. Dependence is when you need a drug, and your everyday life begins to become affected. You can’t go through the day without having to smoke, and it gets worse and worse. Eventually, marijuana doesn’t get you high anymore.
However, there’s a low chance clinical dependence will occur with marijuana. With these myths, especially the ones dealing with dependence, dispensaries fight every day for legitimacy. The government currently makes it very difficult for most dispensaries to operate and puts many restrictions on them due to the stigma that users may grow dependent and contribute to the drug and crime problem. The best thing we can do is stay informed and keep spreading the correct facts.
People Who Use It Do So Frequently
You just heard your friend smokes pot. What’s your first thought? Your opinion of them may shift, and you may think using pot means they use it all the time.
This is entirely untrue. Marijuana use doesn’t mean you get stoned every day and sit on the couch without a life. Rather, out of the 40 to 50 percent of people who try marijuana, less than 12 days’ use is reported by these individuals. That’s a small number for such a big myth. Heavy use is not a typical occurrence.
It’s a Dangerous Drug
Many misconceptions exist about marijuana and marijuana use. However, one rules them all — marijuana is a dangerous drug and makes you do terrible things. It’s rare for a pot user to engage in violent behavior. The nature of the drug subdues emotions. You’re more likely to engage in violent behavior when you’re drinking alcohol.
Find Out the Truth About Marijuana
Myths about marijuana will continue to spread. No matter the facts, people will hear what they want to hear. However, it’s always worth it to try and speak the truth, and that is that marijuana isn’t the devil many make it out to be.