122 Million people in the USA have tried Marijuana. 20 Million of that 122 Million use it at least once a year but not regularly and 35 Million use it regularly. As one of those 35 Million people and someone whose life has been completely changed by cannabis, for the better. I want to correct some of the misconceptions and straight up lies that have been perpetuated throughout my entire life.
Marijuana is addictive: While it is true that Marijuana can be "addictive" to certain people. It is not chemically addictive like heroin, cocaine or any of the opioids used by the pharmaceutical industry to relieve pain. The people who get "addicted" to Marijuana are the same people who get "addicted" to collecting cards, gambling, sex or anything else that peaks their interest. It is more of a dependency than a physical addiction. For your average person, Marijuana is not addictive. When I first started smoking I was smoking night. There was a couple weeks that my wife and kids went to visit family in another state and I stayed home and smoked all day. Not because I was dependent or addicted. Because I was bored. After those couple weeks I cut back. Took a couple months off and reevaluated my habit. There were no withdrawals, no side effects. I still smoke to this day. Currently, only when I have a stressful day or I just am looking to have a good time with my wife or friends.
Marijuana is a gateway drug: This is a lie that a lot of people bought into. I was one of those people. I had a friend who got addicted to heroin, and since he started with Marijuana I assumed (wrongly) that one lead to the other. From the outside, it's easy to draw that conclusion. In reality, he was prescribed opioids and that sent him spiraling out of control. Marijuana is no more a gateway drug than cigarettes.
Marijuana causes cancer: There is no evidence to support the idea that marijuana is connected to cancer. In fact, I tracked down a patent showing that they have known that marijuana can potentially cure cancer from 2010. If you want to read it for yourself look up patent US20130059018A1 section 0013 or just go to https://patents.google.com/patent/US20130059018A1/en .
Marijuana leads to crime: If we learned anything from the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933, the legality of something is what causes the crime. When you prohibit a substance it gives power to criminals. During prohibition, the Mafia amassed a massive amount of power that mostly revolved around that fact that they had the alcohol market cornered. Since the 1970s the drug cartels have become a modern day mafia. The more we fight to keep substances illegal the stronger the illegal market becomes and the higher crime will raise. The answer is safe and regulated substances instead of getting something from the local drug dealer who may or may not have laced your weed with PCP. Let's try to keep each other safe. https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/marijuana-regulation-and-crime-rates/
Marijuana is dangerous: It has not been proven that Marijuana has any long term health effects. It is not addictive, likely can be used to treat cancer and doesn't lead to heavier drug use. I have used cannabis after bad days to help me relax, my wife has used it calm her anxiety and treat postpartum depression. We have used it to strengthen our relationship and have enjoyed smoking with friends. There could be negative side effects to heavy cannabis use that we don't know about yet. What is clear is that even if there are negative side effect, they are far less than any hard drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. It is possibly the safest substance we use to alter our state of mind.
I use to be against Marijuana (click here to read about my journey), through research I have learned that Marijuana has incredible uses. I encourage you to do your own research. If you still don't feel comfortable with Marijuana, don't smoke, but don't try to stop others from enjoying this wonderful plant.