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0771004 Marijuana The Facts Without The Political Propaganda


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The ultimate goal of this slideshow presentation is to expose the truth about marijuana and its supposed detrimental effects.As I delve into the various myths which perpetuate the “menace of …

The ultimate goal of this slideshow presentation is to expose the truth about marijuana and its supposed detrimental effects.As I delve into the various myths which perpetuate the “menace of marijuana” stigma, it should become exceedingly clear that propaganda has clouded our perception of cannabis and its potential health risks have been grossly exaggerated.

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. Marijuana: The Facts Without the Political Propaganda Confronting the Myths: First, it is imperative to clarify some of the common myths about the effects of marijuana. The one that even regular marijuana smokers are susceptible to is the tendency to think that marijuana is not physically addictive. Simply defined, physical addiction means that the user does not feel like him or her self without the drug; in essence, the body needs the drug to feel whole. This type of addictiveness in a drug is much more dangerous than a psychologically addictive drug, which users become dependent on because they like the "world" they are in during their psychedelic trip or other euphoric state of mind. But not to worry. Unlike cocaine, heroin, and nicotine, marijuana is still not very addictive. What makes the other aforementioned drugs so addictive is that they all operate via the "dopamine White Widow reward system." For example, when you snort cocaine, nerve cells in the brain release dopamine (a chemical released when you are engaged in something pleasurable—i.e., sex). In the synaptic cleft, dopamine is prevented by cocaine from being reabsorbed through the dopamine re-uptake transporter. This is what creates the high of pure pleasure—the prolonged time dopamine remains in the synaptic cleft gives its user a false sense of happiness. The brain in time, however, compensates by rapidly reabsorbing dopamine. This is what lures the user to come back for more and more. The abrupt comedown from the drug gets even harsher with frequent use. Marijuana, luckily, does not involve this nasty process. In fact, only about 9% of regular users become addicted to marijuana.
  • 2.
    • Another myth that always seems to pop up amongst the ignorant is the notion that marijuana kills brain cells. Again, the answer here is "false." Marijuana merely stimulates your brain cells, it does not kill them. Alcohol is the real culprit here, which produces toxins that kill brain cells. Also, as far as memory goes, short-term memory loss only persists during the duration of the high with marijuana. With heavy users, however, short-term memory is impaired for 6-12 weeks after intoxication, but with abstinence, things resume back to normal and there is no permanent damage.
    With marijuana, there is also no risk of death by overdose. If you take too many pulls (number of smoke inhalations), the likely result is a "green coma"; you will just fall asleep. The toxicity of marijuana is very low; there has never been a documented incident of death from smoking marijuana. Once again, alcohol is the bad guy; it claims about 100,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. But what about smoking? Can it not potentially cause lung cancer? This is a rather interesting question. It is true that smoking marijuana, or anything else for that matter, produces resin which builds tar on your lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains higher concentrations of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than tobacco smoke. It also deposits more tar than does cigarette smoke by a ratio of 4:1. But latest research conducted at the University of California shows that smoking marijuana does not augment a person's chance of developing lung cancer. The large study concluded that even those who smoked more than 20,000 joints over their lifetimes had no increased risk of developing lung cancer. Scientists are not yet sure of how marijuana evades causing cancer, however, they insist that the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), kills aging cells before becoming cancerous. Northern Lights
  • 3.
    • Now we come to a very scary condition that marijuana can have an adverse effect on—schizophrenia. There is no evidence to suggest that marijuana can cause schizophrenia. Heavy users, however, can experience long-lasting hallucinations and delusions due to toxic psychosis. It is very dangerous to mistake the latter as symptoms of schizophrenia because even if it does occur, the side-effects will fade as the toxin dissipates out of the body. It is not a good idea to smoke marijuana, or take any other drug for that matter, excessively if you suffer from a mental condition; the drugs will worsen your mental health. In terms of schizophrenia, marijuana can trigger an episode with heavy use.
    Lastly, there is always the nuisance of possibly experiencing a "bad trip." Any drug, even alcohol, carries the possibility of producing a negative experience, usually marked by anxiety, fear, panic, and/or paranoia. This is not such a big factor with marijuana as it is with powerful psychedelics such as LSD or ketamine. Even if it does occur, it usually does Purple Haze not last long and is not too overwhelming. The best thing you can do is to tell yourself that the situation is not real; it is the drug. Additionally, there are ways to help prevent such bad trips from occurring. The most important aspect of controlling your high is to have the right mind set and be in a comfortable setting. If you are depressed over work or if you are situated in a cold, dark basement, avoid the drug. You should note, however, that prevention methods are more relevant for psychedelics than marijuana.
  • 4. Canadian Majority Would Legalize Marijuana Source: Angus Reid Strategies Methodology: Online interviews with 1,004 Canadian adults, conducted on May 8 and May 9, 2008. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.
  • 5. Risk of Death Deaths per year per 100,000 people at risk related to various factors No. deaths per 100,000 people at risk Risk Factor *Obesity: 10% and 50% overweight or more, respectively Based on U.S. Gov. figures in Pres. Comm. Am. Hab., 1986, Stat. Ab. U.S., 1989, NIDA House. Surv. 1985. etc. see text. -- This particular bar graph illustrates the impotency of marijuana; it simply does not have the virulence to cause a lethal response to humans.
  • 6. Author’s Additional Points
    • So how exactly dangerous is marijuana in reality? From the evidence above, my (obvious) conclusion is that marijuana poses no long-term danger to one’s body or health and the few negative short-term effects are manageable, and like the term suggests, the effects are transient.
    • What is more is that some perceive marijuana as a “gateway” drug to other harder drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin. Statistics, however, show that this is not necessarily the case. In 1997, the United States was compared to the Netherlands (a country that tolerates marijuana for levels of personal use) and studies have found that 32.9% of Americans 12 years and older, but only 15.6% of Dutch in the same age group had used cannabis at least once. Use of hard drugs is also lower in the Netherlands than in the United States. More than 10% of Americans but just over 2 % of Dutch have tried cocaine at least once. More than three times as many Americans as Dutch have used heroin at least once. The hypothesis that marijuana is a steppingstone to substance abuse with hard drugs has no merit; it is merely a rhetoric tool—another form of propaganda—used by the authority figures to instill fear of marijuana because they claim that it is directly linked and on the path to opium-based narcotics and cocaine (another common misconception; cocaine is not a narcotic. It is mistakenly categorized as one in Canada’s Narcotics Control Act (NCA), but in actuality, it is a stimulant).
    • Yet, others argue that marijuana is not medically helpful. The emerging medical consensus in recent years advocates the use of medical marijuana with a physician’s approval. The United States, on the other hand, vehemently disagrees with the view that marijuana could be useful for medical purposes. As a result, the American federal government has yet to formerly acknowledge marijuana as a viable medical solution. In Canada, however, interest in its use as a medicine re-emerged in the 1970s as it began to be used to treat a wide range of conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma and nausea.
    • The government also does not want to appear hypocritical by legalizing marijuana. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has adopted a U.S.-like national anti-drug strategy and passed a bill last year which invested $63.8 million in the Canadian version of “War on Drugs.” Furthermore, if Harper supports the legalization of marijuana, he would be sending a message that marijuana smokers could lead fashionable lives. This is contradictory with his view that a life of drugs is regrettable and unfortunate.
    • Lastly, the government does not want its citizens to put their or the lives of others in jeopardy by engaging in certain activities when they are impaired, including operating a motor vehicle. The sad fact of the matter is that people do drink and drive and people also get high and drive. Loss of concentration and coordination, impaired judgment, and late reaction time make driving a dangerous endeavor. The same harsh penalties should be applied to stoned driving as drinking and driving. The possible increase in making poor, rash decisions such as driving high, however, does not adequately justify the illegality of marijuana.
  • 7. Chronic Music Mix
    • Note: Cannabis use enhances one’s senses—including sound—making music more “live” and enjoyable. This is a personal list of musical selections and it is for informational purposes only. This author does not condone any type of illegal activities.
    1. My Life (Remix) – The Game ft. Lil Wayne & Tupac 2. Lolipop (Remix) – Lil Wayne ft. Kanye West 3. Mr. Carter – Lil Wayne ft. Jay-Z 4. Forever & Ever – Lil Wayne 5. Outstanding – Lil Wayne 6. Go DJ – Lil Wayne 7. Me and My Drank – Lil Wayne 8. I Feel Like Dying – Lil Wayne 9. Rocket In the Sky – Benassi Bros 10. Turn Me Up – Benassi Bros 11. Hit My Heart – Benassi Bros 12. One More Time – Daft Punk 13. Around the World – Daft Punk 14. Kinda New (Dirty South Mix) – Spektrum 15. Let Me Think About It (Micky Slim Remix) – Ida Corr vs Fedde Le Grand 16. This Time (Klass Remix) – DJ Antoine 17. Say It Right (Bass Mix Electro House) – Nelly Furtado 18. Alive (PH Electro Remix) – Mondotek 19. Bring the Noise (Pump-Kin Remix) – Public Enemy vs Benny Benassi 20. Walking Away (Tocadisco Remix) – The Egg “ Higher” Education: This video contains material that may be unsuitable for certain audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
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  • 10. References: “ Canadian Majority Would Legalize Marijuana.” Polls and Research. May 13, 2008. Angus Reid Global Monitor. Oct. 8, 2008. <http://www.angus-> “ cannabis dangers.” The Good Drug Guide. Oct. 8, 2008. <> “ cannabis addiction & tolerance.” The Good Drug Guide. Oct. 8, 2008. <> “ cocaine effects.” The Good Drug Guide. Oct. 8, 2008. <> “ Marijuana.” Basic Facts about Drugs. 1999. New York. American Council for Drug Education. Mar. 12, 2008. <> “ Medical Marijuana in Canada.” Overview. 2008. Canada. Medical Marijuana Information Resource Centre. Oct. 8, 2008. <> Morgan, John P. and Zimmer, Lynn. “The Myth of Marijuana’s Gateway Effect.” Article directory. Feb. 7, 1995. Portland. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Oct. 8, 2008. <> “ Q & A Drugs, A Guide to Dutch Policy.” 2002. Netherlands. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs . Oct. 17, 2007. <>