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Reefer Madness: Why I Hate Marijuana’s Guts

Posted by admin in October 15th, 2019
Published in Marijuana, Social Issues

Recently I was asked by a loved one why I am so against marijuana. His question was sincere, and though I believe he holds his own opinion about the subject, I felt that he was genuinely interested in why I hate it so much.

Anecdotes are okay, but as a PhD I know rigorous research beats anecdotes every time. But on this day, I couldn’t quote a single piece of evidence that would make my case. So, I grabbed the arsenal easiest to reach-—that of personal experience and I started there.

I know firsthand that smoking pot is dangerous. At college, I smoked pot for three years. I didn’t just smoke pot recreationally, (which is the way I started), but I eventually had to sell the drug in order to sustain my addiction. I needed pot to go to sleep; I needed it to go to work; I needed it to start my day.

I also know from personal experience that pot hinders productivity. I started smoking marijuana midterm my freshman year. I was earning good grades and had a very clear goal for my life. I was studying special education because I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in grade school.

Once I started smoking pot—weekend recreational use at first—my goals began to fade and my grades plummeted. I changed my major three times in less than two years and eventually, due to flunking out of classes and rumors of my dealing drugs, the university expelled me. Failing grades, lack of concentration, inability to meet deadlines—all were a result of my deep dependence on cannabis.

The Debate
The problem with public debate about marijuana is that there is none. What we see in the media, and hear in some Christian circles, is a one-sided conversation. We hear plenty from the pro-marijuana side, but most people have never really heard the anti-marijuana side. Most folks don’t realize there is strong evidence against marijuana! “Isn’t it just the same as alcohol?” is a common argument for pro-pot advocates. But the truth is, NO! Marijuana isn’t just the same as alcohol. In fact, it’s more dangerous than any of us dare to imagine.

Media, celebrities, and politicians all want to tout the hipster side of marijuana. I’ll never forget stomping out of the theater when Meryl Streep and Steve Martin shared a joint in the film It’s Complicated. Their characters lent a sort of normalcy to marijuana because they were just fun-loving, middle-aged grandparents who smoked a little recreational weed. I was furious. Hollywood is constantly trying to tell us that marijuana is mainstream and it is our right to smoke it! But these are lies.

Anti-legalization of marijuana has NEVER been given a fair footing on the public platform. With states legalizing it faster than distributors can keep up, I have to ask myself, “What on earth is happening?” Is no one going to address the harms and dangers of marijuana? Is everyone high? Have we really become a society of misinformed-reefer-mad-potheads?

What I want to do is give people a reasoned response. I’m trying to use my academic background to bring hard evidence and research to the table to help us articulate clear and substantial arguments for why marijuana is bad. Call it cannabis or weed or marijuana or pot—it all amounts to the same harmful substance that is destroying not only our nation, but an entire generation.

And just a side note here: marijuana by any other name still gets you stoned. Ed Gogek, MD, writes, “The marijuana industry wants to make marijuana mainstream and widely accepted. They want people to use the drug and feel good about it, so they prefer a refined-sounding Latin name like cannabis. I try to convince people who use it to quit. So, I call it marijuana—a name more likely to remind us it’s a drug of abuse” (2019, Kindle, p. 155).  Renaming marijuana is part of the industry’s attempt to cloak the drug in a new more positive light. Beware.

In this article, I cite four comprehensive medical studies which expose the significant destructive impact of marijuana. I’ve worked hard to find ways (clear and concise ways) for evangelicals to responsibly explain the hard truths about the destructive nature of marijuana.

My two most valuable resources are Alex Berenson’s Tell Your Children (2019) and Dr. Ed Gogek’s, Marijuana Debunked (2015). Gogek, an MD, has researched the harms of marijuana for over 20 years.

Using marijuana is highly addictive.
For people of all ages, pot poses a substantial likelihood of addiction. For those between the ages of 18-25, they are 82% more likely to become addicted. It is this age group that suffers the most long-term damage from its use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released data that 30% of marijuana users develop what is called “marijuana use disorder.” That’s 3 out of 10 people who use marijuana will develop some type of serious disorder related to addiction. But it gets worse. The study goes on to reveal that people who use marijuana before age 18 are 70 times more likely to develop addiction. FACT: Adolescent addiction is SEVENTY TIMES MORE LIKELY.

In 2015, The NIDA studied 4 million people in the US who met the criteria for marijuana use disorder. Of them, 138,000 voluntarily sought treatment and acknowledged an extreme addiction to the drug. With the legalization of marijuana now in more than 33 states, new studies show that nearly 34 million Americans use it daily (that’s 10% of the US population), and over 80 million use it at least once a week.

Addiction to pot is when the user can’t stop using the drug and its use interferes with their daily activities and social interactions. Though most users consider passing around a joint as a kind of secularized “communion table,” the fact is that addiction to this drug can actually make a person anti-social and, as this study reveals, individuals become hostile and erratic if/when their marijuana use is interrupted or delayed. Of the 4 million people studied, the majority admitted they smoked more marijuana in private than in social settings. This fact alone indicates addictive behavior.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, their 17-year study of marijuana confirms that pot is highly addictive and over time, long-term use causes damage to cognitive skills and social adjustments. One researcher says it like this, “Is cannabis addictive? You’re damn right it is.”

It is important for me to say here that without the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I have no idea where I would have ended up as a young drug addict. Through a miracle I cannot explain but am so grateful for, one night in a desperate attempt to figure out how I had messed up my life so horribly, God poured out His grace on me and in an instant delivered me from my addiction to pot and tobacco. I never touched either again. Jesus Christ was the only solution to my addiction. In fact, I believe Jesus is the only cure for what ails the human soul.

To continue this series, click on the link http://terimccarthyblahblahblog.com/reefer-madness-why-i-hate-marijuanas-guts-part-ii/

Works cited available upon request.

 

 

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