President Obama recently said that smoking pot is safer than consuming alcohol. These are words he probably wants back for the mere fact that his suggestion is merely inaccurate.
The stigma of using pot is reversing itself from something that was bad – a drug- to something that is good – medicinal/fun.
As a kid growing up in the 90’s, I remember my teachers constantly telling us to say no to drugs. They even had people come speak to us. I remember a police officer who came to my class and brought a red suitcase with him. Inside this suitcase were samples of drugs which he informed us about. The message was again, “drugs are bad – stay away.” As you can tell, the message stuck with me since I remember the details of long ago well.
Moreover, I remember watching the cartoon special “All Stars to the Rescue” which for the first time had many popular cartoon characters in one cartoon show come together to save a kid tempted to use drugs. It was aired on all networks. As a kid and fan of cartoons, especially the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I naturally paid attention to the cartoon and its message sunk in.
Here is a video of it below:
However, today things are changing. The “say no to drugs” is turning into “say yes to drugs.” This is scary indeed. We now have a president even endorsing drug use.
I digress –
Marijuana, while it may be something natural – a plant – it is still dangerous. It is the most used of illicit drugs in the United States and its effects come instantly once a person smokes it since the smoke enters the lungs and then the blood stream via the aveoli immediately. These effects can last over three hours.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug which means that it alters the mind and how it perceives reality.
It distorts what we hear, see, smell, taste and touch. Our perception of time is disrupted. Marijuana also disrupts learning, memory and takes away coordination.
Users of the drug have trouble concentrating, cannot problem solve or think clearly. The heartbeat increases while blood pressure drops dramatically. So much for recreation/fun right?
These symptoms are due to the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC chemical which effects the nerve cells in the brain by disrupting anandamides because both have nearly identical molecular structures. Anandamides ironically are natural marijuana-like chemicals that the brain produces. It helps with pain relief.
Furthermore, use of marijuana weakens the immune system due to the presence of THC. Smoking it also poses dangers to the lungs because it contains 50% more carcinogens than regular cigarettes. It will also bring about anxiety, panic attacks, depression and paranoia.
The verdict is that using marijuana for recreational reasons is not a good idea and hardly recreation or fun if you ask me. President Obama is obviously never paid attention during his health classes.
Our brains already makes its own “pot” called anandamides. We don’t need anymore chemicals that will harm us.
Say NO to drugs!
Chuder, Eric C., “Neuroscience for Kids: Marijuana,” University of Washington, Revised 2008.
SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information. “Tips for Teens: The Truth About Marijuana,” Revised May 2004.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know.” Revised August 2007.
Tetrault, J.M., et al. “Effects of marijuana smoking on pulmonary function and respiratory complications: a systematic review.” Archives of Intern Medicine. February 2007.
Mehra, R, et al. “The association between marijuana smoking and lung cancer: a systematic review.”Archives of Internal Medicine. July 2006.