10 Reasons to Stay Away from Weed
People who support marijuana over other drugs often point to a number of different arguments that they believe prove it to be safe or at least less harmful. Many of these center on the fact that marijuana is a naturally occurring substance, hence its names including “herb,” “grass” or “weed.” While it may be true that cannabis can be found in nature, this does not by any means make it safe. There are many “natural” substances and plants that are also toxic. There are, in fact, many different reasons why you should avoid using marijuana:
1. Marijuana Smoke Contains Carcinogens
Smoking is not the only way in which marijuana users consume the drug, but it is certainly the most common. Whether it is in joints or a bong, the smoke released by marijuana contains many of the same carcinogens — chemical substances that cause cancer — as cigarette smoke.
2. Marijuana Can Cause Lung Damage
People who smoke weed are more at risk of suffering lung damage. In fact, a study conducted in New Zealand demonstrated that the respiratory system damage caused by smoking cannabis is actually equivalent to the damage associated with smoking as many as five cigarettes. There are also many other long-term effects of weed that a lot of people are not aware of:
3. You Might Get Hooked
The issue of addiction is one of the reasons that many advocates of marijuana argue that it is safer since it is not necessarily as addictive as certain other drugs like heroin. Many people, however, do get hooked on marijuana, with estimates commonly stating that the number is around one in six pot smokers ending up addicted to the drug.
4. Weed Can Destroy Your Ambition
Smoking pot one time tends to make a person feel “hazed” or “baked,” and the high associated with cannabis is typically described as being relaxing, rather than stimulating. People who consume marijuana on a regular basis naturally experience these sensations far more often, and with prolonged usage, most pot smokers end up failing to pursue their life goals.
5. Marijuana Destroys Your Body’s Natural Reserves
The human body naturally responds to the dietary mineral magnesium as though it were a tranquilizer, a nutrient that serves to help one stay relaxed and to avoid feeling frayed at the edges. Using marijuana tends to deplete the body’s stores of magnesium, with the result that the person feels more on-edge after coming down from the high. As is to be expected, most people turn back to the drug to feel good again, thereby locking themselves into a downward spiral of physical dependence in addition to any emotional addiction they may develop.
6. A Pot Habit Can Be Expensive
From a purely practical standpoint, you have to keep in mind the financial implications of using marijuana. According to a report from the United Nations, marijuana costs anywhere from $150 to $400 per ounce, with price variations based on the quality of the drug and the region where it is being purchased. In addition to the price tag for a joint, there are also the long-term costs associated with reduced earning power due to poor job performance and being passed over for promotions at work, which can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the years.
7. Cannabis Is Still Illegal in Many States in the US and Countries Around the World
Marijuana is still illegal in the majority of states in the nation. Under federal law, cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it is in the category of the most tightly regulated drugs on the market. Consequently, an arrest for marijuana possession and sales can result in driver’s license suspension, steep fines and time in jail or prison, as well as a criminal record that can destroy your career.
8. Using Weed Can Retard Your Development
Studies have demonstrated that people who begin engaging in heavy marijuana consumption during their teenage years tend to reach adulthood with lower levels of IQ than their peers. This has to do with the fact that the brain has not finished maturing until the mid-20s, and using a mind-altering substance such as THC can impair its growth and development.
9. Pot Smokers Tend to Become Reclusive
Because marijuana is illegal in most areas, people who use the drug on a regular basis will more often use it in the privacy of their own homes. The nature of the high tends to leave them looking inward rather than out in the environment so often results in a user sitting for hours not doing much of anything. As they start smoking on a daily basis, rather than only at parties or with friends on the weekend, they tend to spend more time alone in order to facilitate their habit. They stop spending as much time with friends and family who do not use drugs and will start making choices about new friends based on who does and doesn’t get high. They may feel self-conscious about their drug use, or may simply prefer the company of other stoners. Either way, they often end up living more reclusive lives.
10. Marijuana Can Change Your Personality
As mentioned above, regular consumption of marijuana tends to deplete the body’s stores of vital nutrients, thereby making one feel edgier without the drug. Cannabis is also notorious for causing users to suffer from conditions such as paranoia and anxiety, particularly with the high potency weed that is on the market today. Some of this anxiety is practical since you never know if the knock at the door might be a police officer who could arrest you for drug possession, while some of it is purely physiological given the ways that the drug affects the brain. Furthermore, the lack of motivation and fuzzy-headedness displayed by many marijuana users often represent significant alterations in the person’s behavior. The bottom line is that pot smokers often undergo personality changes, and they are usually not for the better.