With all this “fake news” from the political arena, we thought it would be nice to write the following guide to fake news in the Cannabis industry. Has anyone else noticed that ever since marijuana became legal in certain parts of the United States, there has been an abundance of new evidence regarding the “dangers” of marijuana use? Interesting. Marijuana use and it’s effects were studied for well over a half century with nothing harmful being found. Now, suddenly with it’s legalization, there is an influx of concerning “discoveries” in the news almost daily. I for one call shenanigans. It’s time to take a closer look at some of the most widespread claims and debunk them:
“Fact” #1: MARIJUANA IS A GATEWAY DRUG TO HARDER SUBSTANCES.
This is probably the most common claim against the use of marijuana, and it has been proven in study after study to be pure hogwash. While it is true that most people who use harder drugs like heroin and cocaine have indeed smoked marijuana, the vast majority have also drank alcohol and/or smoked cigarettes. They have taken over the counter medications of various kinds. Most have indulged in fast food for most of their lives. A large number of them eat chocolate on a regular basis. The point is, who’s to say marijuana use is what leads to the use of other substances? Nicotine, alcohol, even sugar have all been proven beyond a doubt to have physiologically addicting effects on the body. Marijuana has never been proven to be physically addictive. So, just where does the true “gateway” lie?
“Fact” #2: DRIVING AFTER SMOKING MARIJUANA IS AS DANGEROUS AS DRINKING AND DRIVING.
Statistics show that an average of 28 people die in the United States every day as a result of drinking and driving. Not a single study has shown that marijuana use is responsible for automobile accidents. While it would be foolish to dispute that it could happen, the fact remains that there is an insane amount of evidence PROVING that alcohol use causes scores of traffic fatalities, and yet alcohol is a legal substance. How does such a claim as this “fact” even deserve attention?
“Fact” #3: MARIJUANA USE CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE.
A recent study in France involving 18–25 year olds observed the brains of 20 individuals who were considered to be “heavy use” marijuana smokers. The findings were then compared to the brains of 20 non-marijuana smokers. The brains indicated differences in areas of emotional and cognitive processing. When the results of the study were released to the public, the media began to release stories claiming that marijuana use “reorganizes” the human brain. The EXPERTS who conducted the study quickly corrected these claims, explaining that the results do not show such a thing at all. In reality, they show a correlation that proves that there is absolutely indication that marijuana alters brain structure or if, instead, individuals with certain types of brain structure are more likely to benefit from marijuana’s healthful effects. Yet another case of media distortion of the actual facts.
It is true that marijuana use isn’t for everyone. There are those who will always view it as a harmful drug due to the stigma attached to it for decades, mostly by the uneducated and uninformed. However, for those who do enjoy it, and especially for those who benefit from it’s proven medicinal effects, it is important that these harmful myths and the false propaganda be exposed, and the truth made clear once and for all.