Although scientists, doctors, and society are more accepting, even appreciative now, of cannabis than ever before, and despite its legal status in more states than not, and albeit “recreational dispensary near me” is now a leading search term, plenty of misinformation still exists. Some of these myths are proving especially persistent, particularly in regards to recreational marijuana, both its use and its legalization.
We are here to debunk the most pervasive of them all:
Myth: Prohibition Protects Kids More Than Legalization
Zero evidence exists to show prohibition effective at protecting children from cannabis. None at all. Nowhere. According to the New York Times, teenagers were using more weed in 2011 than in the last 30 years, with one-fifteenth of them smoking most days, and for the first time in U.S. history, teenagers were smoking more weed than cigarettes.
However, adolescents are not smoking more marijuana in states with liberal laws than in those with stricter ones. Those advocating for legalization argue that legalizing and regulating marijuana is the only real way to reduce usage rates among teenagers. Emerging statistics corroborate these claims.
Myth: Pot Is Legal in Holland and Portugal
Despite widespread belief, the Dutch have yet to legalize marijuana formally. According to Time Magazine, their official policy, enacted in 1976, only instructs police officers not to enforce existing laws against the nearly 700 coffee shops selling small quantities of it, as well as against those possessing small amounts. The Netherlands still considers growing, distributing, and importing a criminal offense.
In Portugal, weed is not legal, per se, either. According to the Cato Institute, the country only decriminalized it, all drugs actually, which is very different to legalizing it. Possessing, buying, and using pot are still civil infractions, punishable by hefty fines, community service, or other civil sanctions.
Myth: Marijuana Offenders Are Overcrowding Prisons
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, police arrested 659,700 people for violating marijuana laws in 2017. Although these figures are high for drug-related crimes, they are minuscule for all crimes. Folks in jail for possession and other petty cannabis-related offenses make up a minuscule portion of the total inmates incarcerated in U.S. prisons, and few arrested ever end up in prison. Most go home.
Today, marijuana offenses are mostly civil violations, worthy of fines, community supervision, community service, and similar penalties. Only around 40,000 people are in jail, in both state and federal prisons, and more than half include serious offenses, such as distribution and trafficking.
Myth: Using Cannabis Recreationally Causes Cancer
Like tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke does contain harmful carcinogens, but even the heaviest weed smoker will never smoke as much weed as a cigarette smoker typically would tobacco, certainly not enough to cause cancer. According to the Washington Post, a University of California Los Angeles study in 2006 concluded that even all-day use would not cause lung cancer.
In fact, many studies now show that cannabis actually inhibits the growth of cancer cells, slows metastasis, treats all associated symptoms, and even has bronchial dilating properties. Turns out, smoking weed has an extremely positive effect on lung cancer, and even more so with regular use.
Myth: Using Weed Creates Criminal Delinquents
Criminals certainly use pot at much higher rates than non-offenders do, but there is no proof even to suggest that weed is the cause of their delinquent behavior. Other factors might well be responsible, or perhaps causality works the other way around entirely, that criminals may just have a higher likelihood of using drugs and for varying personal reasons.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, marijuana actually has peaceful, non-violent effects that actually disqualify most users from ever becoming hardcore criminals. It is laughable to suggest even that cannabis unleashes aggression in anyone.
Myth: Marijuana Is Addictive
While it is possible for people to develop a dependency on cannabis, this is extremely rare and only ever occurs within a tiny fraction of an already minority group of heavy users. Evidence shows around nine percent of chronic users clinically dependent on marijuana, and this in comparison to 24 percent of those using heroin and 15 percent of those using cocaine.
In reality, science shows cannabis a potentially valuable resource for helping addicts. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it can play an effective role in treating addiction to opioids and other prescription drugs, with experts placing much hope in it combating the current opioid crisis.
Myth: The Majority of Marijuana Consumers Use Heavily
Nearly half of all people who have tried pot in their lives report being stoned fewer than 12 full days in all this time combined. Over the last year, around one-third of consumers use around 10 days’ worth. Most people are moderate tokers, with some hardly qualifying as consumers they use so little. Around six million users 12-years and older, around 30 million people, use weed on a daily basis, a pitiful few.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic use is actually rare. Most cannabis enthusiasts get “high” around twice a week, many even less, with only a tiny handful of them smoking every day. The vast majority do not even smoke enough to develop any tolerance toward it.
Myth: Weed Is a “Gateway” Substance
Statistically speaking, children and teenagers who smoke pot are more likely to experiment with other drugs. However, correlation does not equal causation, so this does not mean that weed causes them to use other substances. The truth is that there is no evidence anywhere, ever, that even hints at marijuana being a gateway drug, only decades of propagandist prohibition.
In fact, according to a report published in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and quoting its authors, “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”
Myth: Cannabis Is Dangerous
The myth that marijuana is somehow dangerous is among the persistent of them all. For decades, the scientific and medical communities decried it as a brain killer, a substance that strips users of all mental, physical, and spiritual health. Turns out, the direct opposite is true, with study after study proving weed notably safer than alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and most other substances.
Evidence is now abundant proving marijuana extremely good for human health. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, its many health benefits and medicinal properties are now becoming new targets for a variety of novel applications and drug developments.
Myth: Cannabis is Harmless
Just as many people falsely believe that pot is dangerous, many erroneously think it completely harmless too. It is not. Extremely heavy use can have negative consequences. The risk of bronchitis and other respiratory issues is higher in those who overdo it, but vaporizers eliminate all the dangers of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals created by burning organic matter, including buds.
Furthermore, according to the Scientific American, there are other, more unexpected, hazards associated with using weed, such as driving while high, the main instigator of many road crashes, albeit it significantly less risky than driving drunk.
Finding Dispensaries in Antioch
There are more reasons to use marijuana than there are not, no matter how many myths still exist. Slowly, people are becoming more knowledgeable about its many benefits. The age of ignorance is over, and numbers prove it. More people are typing “recreational dispensary near me” into Google every day, so if you are looking for dispensaries in Antioch, just be sure to check reviews before buying.