Though marijuana has many medicinal properties and has been used for generations, it is often misunderstood by the masses. From anti-marijuana propaganda films in the first half of the 20th century to years of anti-drug education, true information about marijuana can be difficult to come by.
With all of the misinformation out there, it can be difficult to separate marijuana fact from fiction. Here are some of the biggest myths about marijuana:
Myths About Marijuana: Pot is a “Gateway Drug”
One of the first things that most people learn about marijuana is that it is a “gateway drug,” meaning it leads users down a path toward other drugs. However, science has debunked this idea, according to a study from the University of New Hampshire.
The research shows that the path from marijuana to other drugs is not physical, but sociological. So a troubled young adult from a low-income family may try marijuana and other drugs because of emotional difficulties, but it is not the marijuana causing it.
Myth: Marijuana is Physically Addicting
Whether or not marijuana is physically addicting has been argued for years. Studies have shown that marijuana does not lead to physical addiction. Like anything else, it can become habit-forming, but again, that is a sociological response.
Myth: Marijuana Users are All Lazy
There is a stereotype of people that use marijuana, typically a lazy person who lays around all day and doesn’t accomplish anything. Popular culture has often used this trope in movies and television shows for comedic effect, but the truth is that most marijuana users do not fit that mold.
Myth: Marijuana Can Cause Cancer
Smoke of any kind contains carcinogens, which is something that can lead to cancer. However, a 2006 study from UCLA shows that marijuana does not lead to lung cancer, even among people who use it heavily.
Moreover, the carcinogens can be skipped altogether, as marijuana does not have to be smoked. There are edibles and other options available for marijuana consumption that do not require smoking at all.
Myth: Marijuana is Very Dangerous
One of the reasons that marijuana opponents are so adamantly against it is because they claim that it is a dangerous drug. However, a number of studies have shown that marijuana is not nearly as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco. Additional studies have shown that marijuana has many medicinal uses.
Marijuana does have side effects and should always be used with caution, but it is not the dangerous menace that it is often made out to be. Research can help you find out the truth and decide for yourself if marijuana is worth consideration, but don’t listen to the myths about marijuana.