In a previous blog post, I wrote about the dangers of dabbing. Now I want to shift gears.
I started this blog so that I could provide you all with good reasons not to smoke weed.
However, I don’t want to be a fear-monger. There’s already enough misinformation out there concerning the dangers of marijuana, and the media is partly responsible for that.
In the United States, however, public opinion is slowly starting to shift. Over half of all U.S. states allow some form of marijuana use.
Is the media beginning to catch up with our changing attitudes?
I think it is, but it’s still got a lot of work to do.
Even though I help people learn how to stop smoking weed, I think it’s equally important to distinguish marijuana facts from fiction. I want you to have valid reasons not to smoke weed. I don’t want you to buy into narratives that aren’t true.
In this post, I want to address the media’s two biggest marijuana-related hang-ups: it treats all drugs as if they’re the same, and it continues to propagate the “gateway drug” myth.
Not All Drugs Are Created Equal
If you grew up in the 1980s, you might remember the “This Is Your Brain On Drugs” commercials.
In the commercial, an actor holds up an egg and says, “This is your brain.” He points to a nearby cooking pan and says, “This is drugs.”
He cracks the egg and drops the yolk into the pan. As the egg sizzles loudly, the actor says, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”
Actually, I do have a question.
What kind of drugs is the commercial talking about?
Is it talking about heroin? Is it talking about cocaine? Is it talking about marijuana? Is it talking about Vicodin?
The word “drug” is a catch-all term for a wide variety of substances, ranging from caffeine to crystal meth.
Over the years, the media has warned us against certain types of drugs but assured us that other kinds of drugs are perfectly okay.
Whenever I watch prescription drug commercials, I find that it takes them longer to list the side effects than it does to list the drug’s benefits. Are we supposed to believe that these drugs are safer than marijuana?
I’m not saying that marijuana doesn’t have harmful side effects. It does.
I’m also not saying that you can’t become addicted to marijuana. You can. That’s why I decided to help people learn how to stop smoking weed in the first place.
However, I will also say this: No one has ever died from overdosing on marijuana. In fact, you’d need to consume almost 1,500 lbs of marijuana in 15 minutes in order to achieve a fatal overdose.
In other words, there are more people who have figured out how to quit smoking weed than there are people who have died from overdosing on it.
Unfortunately, the federal government still considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug that has no medicinal value whatsoever.
Compare that to cocaine and meth, which are Schedule 2 drugs. The government does recognize that they have medicinal value.
I guess it doesn’t matter that it is possible to die from a cocaine or meth overdose.
Does it make sense to lump marijuana in the same category as cocaine and meth? Are we really to believe that meth and cocaine are less dangerous than marijuana?
I don’t think so.
Marijuana Is Not a “Gateway Drug”
Even though the media is coming around to the idea that marijuana isn’t as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco, I still see reports and news stories in which marijuana is referred to as a “gateway drug.”
I’m sure you’re familiar with this phrase. The idea is that if people start using marijuana, it will make them want to try harder, more dangerous drugs.
This is a myth. At best, it’s extremely misleading.
Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences debunked this idea. According to its report, most drug users start off using nicotine and alcohol before they try marijuana. The academy also found no causal link between the effects of marijuana on drug users and the subsequent decision to try other illicit substances.
For these reasons, marijuana can’t seriously be considered a “gateway drug.”
The Real “Gateway” is the Black Market
If there is a “gateway” aspect to marijuana use, I believe it’s because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and in certain states.
If you want to buy marijuana but live in a place where it’s illegal, you have to go to the black market and find a drug dealer.
Once you start buying weed from a drug dealer on a regular basis, the dealer is more likely to introduce you to harder, more expensive and more addictive substances.
In business, this is called “upselling.”
If we want to keep people away from truly dangerous drugs, we should stop giving them a reason to go to the black market in the first place. Marijuana can and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco.
If people can purchase marijuana without fear of getting tossed in jail, they’re less likely to put themselves in legal and physical jeopardy.
You don’t have to buy into false media narratives about marijuana. There are plenty of good reasons not to smoke weed. If you want to know what those reasons are, go here.
Marijuana dependence is a real thing, but the solution is real too. If you’re ready to learn how to quit smoking weed, check out Quit Weed: The Complete Guide. Over 10,000 people have used it to end their dependence on marijuana.
You could be one of those people.