Debunking Five Cannabis Misconceptions
With cannabis getting more popular than ever, people become more educated on the positive qualities of cannabis. However, you still may hear some discouraging questions and opinions that could frustrate you. It’s time for some debunking. Here’s how to respond:
1. But… It is a gateway drug, you know?
Oh, boy. We have all heard this one, right? You parents probably used this statement to illustrate the slippery slope that starts with cannabis and ends with heroin. A correlation exists, but it does not equal causation. Hard drug users may also be marijuana users, as well as the rest of population. In today’s world, even grandmas could benefit from cannabis. Ask your wondering friend if they consider their grandma a drug addict. We doubt so.
For those loving expert opinions: in 1999, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences compiled a report examining the potential dangers of cannabis. It says:
There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.
By the way, alcohol is more of a dangerous gateway drug. Ask your naysayer-buddy what they think about it.
2. Cannabis makes you a couch potato. A stupid couch potato
Okay, there are cannabis consumers who happen to be super productive high-achievers. Boston marathoners, PhDs, Ironman triathletes, NFL and NBA players, number of famous entrepreneurs… Cannabis just doesn’t make you stupid. Or, glued to your couch. You do not get cirrhosis right after you take a sip of beer, do you?
Some studies show that regular cannabis consumptions can lead to lower levels of dopamine, which, in turn, decreases levels of motivation. Other studies, however, have found little evidence that cannabis leads to loss of motivation. To determine it fully, we need more research. Next time you hear this claim, remember — cannabis consumers come in different shapes, and not all of them are stereotypical lazy. Most of them are hard-working, motivated individuals who use cannabis responsibly. And yeah, ask your friend if they think you’re a stupid couch potato.
3. Cannabis is dangerous
There is not a single confirmed death by cannabis overdose. Period. Similar to alcohol, cannabis is intended for responsible adults. Like alcohol, it can be abused by irresponsible people. But alcohol kills (and it is proven), while cannabis does not.
Cannabis can be a contributing factor in deaths, but those are cases of lifestyle connected to illegal cannabis market or gross negligence leading to accidents. Anyway, alcohol and prescription drugs still top statistics on a cause of death among Americans. Ask what your scared buddy thinks of it.
4. The whole thing has a negative connotation
Roots of all problems are in cannabis, for sure. People just can’t stop linking the plant to evil. But the actual problem is that people have been taught to believe that cannabis is bad for anyone in any circumstances. This stigma is hard to fight, and we have made incredible progress, but many individuals still believe that cannabis is a demonic substance taking lives. Sigh. Tell your doubting buddy to do some research.
5. It is illegal for a reason
Yes, cannabis is still illegal federally, but there is no sound reason for it. In fact, it was quite a cash crop before the 1800s. Unfortunately, xenophobia, hundred of years of propaganda, fear-mongering has led to the situation we face today. Cannabis is illegal because of politics, history, and tradition. Tell your buddy about history.
We hope that soon all of these misconceptions will fade. We will build an accepting and tolerating society that has no doubts about therapeutic and economic benefits of the plant.
(Sweedsy in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.)