By John S. Duff
John S. Duff is President of Narconon and co-author of The Truth About Drugs, The Body, Mind and You.
Marijuana has been with us throughout our history and yet there remains a great deal of controversy. Some people look at this drug as a safe recreational drug and others consider it dangerous.
What are some of the dangers and myths to marijuana? My first response has to be that all drugs are poisons to the body and have dangers and this would include marijuana.
The dangers of marijuana are not as apparent as, let's say, alcohol, sleeping pills or heroin. Marijuana doesn't normally make a person throw up or cause him or her to be out of control as much as the drunk, and the hangover is not like an alcohol hangover. These are all points true about marijuana but they don't make the drug safe to use. It is quite the opposite. If you smoke marijuana it changes the way you feel and alters the perceptions and affects the body, the mind and the individual.
Marijuana is smoked and is very bad for the lungs just like cigarettes except people inhale pot much deeper into the lungs and hold it there longer. Pipes used, like bongs, are even more damaging to the lungs because of the higher concentrations of smoke.
Does marijuana have chemicals or carcinogens that can cause cancer like cigarettes? Many think they do, much like the smoke of tobacco. There are several hundred chemicals in marijuana including the cannabinoids of which little is known. Lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis and irritation should all be considered possible side effects to this drug.
Marijuana stays in the bloodstream for weeks and in the fatty tissue of the body for months and possibly longer. Constant burnout, tiredness or just a blah feeling can be a side effect of the accumulation of this drug in the body.
One of the most damaging effects that takes place though is in the mind. Concentration, recording and the recalling of what you have recorded all become more difficult. Young people can spend years using this drug and end up as adults with little education or few valuable skills.
The teen-age years are critical years for the preparation of adulthood and if a teenager spends those years experiencing a continual buzz from this drug, problems are almost certain for that person. I'm not just talking here about having a harder time in school or studying. There is also learning about yourself, your emotions, ambitions or goals in life and the feelings of independence. If you're loaded all the time, it can definitely affect your personal growth. Don't just take my word on this, either. Most of you have friends who get loaded all the time. What are your honest observations? Are these people doing better in life?
Let me list out the more obvious dangers or side effects to using marijuana:
- DAMAGE TO THE LUNGS
- ACCUMULATION OF THE DRUG IN THE FATTY TISSUE OF THE BODY
- TIREDNESS AND BURNOUT
- LESS ABLE TO CONCENTRATE, RECORD AND RECALL
- DIFFICULTY IN STUDY
- A DROP IN AMBITION
Marijuana can affect the body, mind and individual negatively and should not be thought of as safe. Like all other drugs, this drug has dangers. And most importantly, the really good feeling or highs come from within you and are natural.