Stigmas of Medical Marijuana: 4 Ludicrous Myths
One of the most frowned upon, socially unacceptable and debatable drugs today is Marijuana. Illicit yet widely used, Marijuana is stigmatized in the global society because of its association of getting ‘high’. It has been gaining popularity for its effectiveness in providing relief from various ailments. Surprisingly, they are overlooked because of the stereotype Marijuana carries as a drug. Many different varieties of cannabis seeds and its products has been present in the society and market for years now and so have a few myths related to it. Incorrect or incomplete information, misleading campaigns, brainwashing tactics and general unawareness have ensured that it continues to remain as a misunderstood, hard drug. Even though it has proven to do wonders for untreatable diseases like Cancer, HIV, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Lupus and Epilepsy, it is still federally illegal. Recently, many states in the US have passed laws which allow Marijuana to be a prescription drug. Unfortunately, the DEA has not changed its stance on it. The myths associated with Marijuana, which have kept the public unaware about its medical benefits are mentioned below:
Myth#1 Marijuana is worse for your lungs than Tobacco
Over the years Tobacco companies have ensured that people continue to believe that marijuana does more damage to your breathing bags than tobacco. Interestingly, there has not even been one research which proves this. According to a study conducted and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that occasional and supervised use of marijuana does not cause any adverse consequences on pulmonary function. In fact, it has also been found in researches that tobacco is more harmful on the lungs. A prescribed amount of consumption of Marijuana can be done via smoking, drinking, eating or vaping.
Myth#2 Marijuana causes its addiction
Any substance can cause its addiction if used excessively. From coffee to chocolates; working out to video games- even the most basic item and activity can become a habit. Understandably, the use of marijuana should also be supervised and used only for medical issues. 9% users become dependent on Marijuana, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Users can suffer from withdrawal symptoms like mood swings, restless, irritability, loss of appetite. Thus, it is important to use it responsibly to avoid dependency.
Myth#3 Marijuana is a gateway drug
Abusers of hard drugs on an average have a history of marijuana which has given it the label of a gateway drug, but this is also applicable to tobacco and alcohol. Being socially acceptable, this correlation is ignored. A study conducted Dr. Karen Van Gundy, associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire proved that weed can b e a gateway drug for youngsters dwelled in poverty, crime, unemployment and suffering from psychological issues. Because of this one side related to the drug, the multiple benefits such as of CBD oil that the patients receive are completely ignored.
Myth#4 Marijuana is correlated to crime
Marijuana has been on the list of The Controlled Substances Act since 1970 and a socially restricted substance since time immemorial. Statistics have always been drawn to prove the status of high crime because of use of weed rather than actually looking into more serious areas which can be worked on to make the world safer. A study was conducted in Lambeth, London when weed was decriminalised for an entire year. The study found that overall crime rate went down and they were able to control crime rates. The police focussed on high- risk crimes instead of low- risk weed users and were successful in improving the overall safety of Lambeth. The Washington Post published an article which stated that the overall marijuana related court cases fell from 39,207 (2011) to 2036 (2014) in Colorado. Crimes rates have been falling since weed has been legalised on the state level. It was concluded was that marijuana is not the source of criminal behaviour.
Scientists and researchers have been debunking these myths with strong theories and studies but these notions continue to exist. Marijuana continues to be perceived as a hard drug backed up with fear and misconceptions, instead of the wondrous exceptional aid that it really is. As the world heads towards greater technology and development, it is time that people are educated and made aware about the real picture of Marijuana.
Written by Keira Wayne