Marijuana, Good or bad? History in review Van Labate June 5, 2015 Weed, cannabis, chronic, bud. The popular flower with psychoactive effects goes by many monikers. Whatever you call the plant, you probably share a strong negative or positive opinion on it’s use. But are your assumption correct? Lets review. The Effects The drug has earned its reputation due to its desired effect on the human brain. Users feel relaxation, mild euphoria, relieved nausea,increased appetite, increased sensitivity, which is overall described as feeling “[highlight color=black ]high[/highlight].” Because of these factors, marijuana is used in aiding numerous psychological and physical disorders — lending credence to medicinal use in many states. Of course, it’s not all desired effects. Many users report dry mouth and eyes, impaired short-term memory, anxiety and rapid heart-rate during use. The effects subdue once the user sobers within 1 – 3 hours on average. Cause for Confusion Misnomers (untrue) Click to enlarge. Permanent brain damage: marijuana does clearly affect short term memory during use. Once the drug wears off, short term memory returns. As of now there is not one well-founded study proving any long-term brain damage. Ironically, it’s actually shown positive effects on tumor growth on the brain. Highly Addictive: Chemical addiction is what happens when your dopamine levels (natural rewards system) are hijacked by a foreign substance. Marijuana does not in any way attack the brains reward system like say cocaine, nicotine, and methamphetamine do. Marijuana is not physically addictive, however it can turn in to an addictive lifestyle, just as anything else can like obesity. Today’s psychology will explain that marijuana ‘addicts’ relate positive emotions to their marijuana use, causing codependency for basic daily functioning. Gateway Drug: Early propaganda on the drug had reported that marijuana would cause users to move to much more dangerous drugs such as heroin. The same reports also suggested that marijuana caused violent acts such as rape, which has since been rebuked. Not one valid study is yet to prove that marijuana is in fact a gateway drug. Marijuana is Deadly: No. There has never been even one official death by marijuana overdose. Via DEA/Department of Justice: “Theoretically you have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response .” [divider]Digging Deeper[/divider] The History of “Marihuana” Today’s culture has been built on the strong belief that marijuana is and has always been a dangerous drug. Much of the propaganda can be traced back to 1920s – 30s, however can still be echoed today. Marijuana’s non-psychoactive close relative hemp (which doesn’t get you high) continued to thrive at the time, thanks to agricultural advancements, as it produced everything from oils, paper, wax, rope, clothing, nutrition and much more. As hemp production continued to rise, the DuPont Corporation had patented synthetics in 1937 to replace hemp. Made from finite resources, oil and coal, the synthetics created plastics, cellophane, celluloid, methanol, nylon, rayon, and dacron. One of the biggest uses would be paper made from the use of wood pulp derived from DuPont’s sulfate process. The company did not foresee the improvements in mechanical agriculture which made hemp the easy choice. The patent ultimately also took DuPont 12 years and $27 million dollars to accomplish. Though it would look to still be an inferior product to the newly optimized agriculture of hemp, the company would continue forward. That continued step forward was likely due to the largest investor in DuPont. The U.S. Secretary of the Treasure to Herbert Hoover at the time, Andrew Mellon. Mellon would help form the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (later evolving to today’s DEA) where he placed his nephew-in-law Harry Anslinger as the head of the department . Quickly Anslinger would provoke a war against the plants. Smear campaigns such as “Reefer Madness” began to appear in mainstream shortly after. It would not take long after the propaganda’s spread of disinformation (no internet to fact check) that marijuana, along with its non-psychoactive relative hemp received the reputation of being deadly, as well as being powerful enough to cause users to rape innocent victims uncontrollably. The fear of the drug caused quick prohibition of the plants, clearing the path for Dupont’s products to replace hemp as the new required commodity. DuPont’s victory led to the standard in many of todays most highly produced products. Sadly, we only now know of the dangers of parabens from oil based products like plastic which have been linked to cancer, heart disease, brain damage (irony), impotence, hormone disruption and asthma. The Author biased? Of course. Who isn’t? You should know I have smoked marijuana on and off for over 10 years. I use very sparsely (once or twice a week in small quantities). Regardless, I am being as objective as possible with the topic. I considered the pros, cons and unknown variables relentlessly and I have come to the decision (for now) that marijuana brings more positive than negative to my life. So you’re recommending Marijuana, right? Yes and no. If you do not have self control, no. Psychological issues, definitely not. If you are uneducated on the effects — nope. If you are looking to explore your mind and you can be responsible with it — maybe. In Closing We are all different and marijuana is not for everyone. It’s my opinion that inaccurate depictions of marijuana made by big corporations has blinded the masses to is positive aspects. I’m of the belief that this will one day change as we’ve seen lately in Colorado. Now – I am open to have a logical debate with anyone on the subject. I’m always interested to hear other perspectives and new facts. Drop me a response below and I’ll respond as long as you are sincere and not a troll.