Topic: Facts and Myths about Marijuana
In a society, we are constantly bombarded with information from a wide variety of mediums. It can be very difficult for teenagers to know what is factual and what is not, especially when it comes to marijuana. Even before the invention of the internet, there were a number of misleading rumors about the dangers of marijuana, some were meant to deterring people from using this substance. In this paper, I will address a few of these rumors and the facts behind them as well as some of the dangers of smoking marijuana.
The first myth that I found very interesting was that marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning it can lead to the use of other illicit drugs such as LSD, cocaine and heroin. This is not necessarily true, in fact, after the Dutch partially legalized marijuana in the 1970’s, the use of hard drugs decreased dramatically. For the most part, people who use marijuana never actually use other “harder” drugs. In all actuality, marijuana for most is a terminus and not a gateway drug. However, for young people the statistics are very different and varies from generation to generation. Teenagers are more likely to move on towards harder drugs if they smoke marijuana at the age of 15, then their non-smoking peers. Another common myth about marijuana is that it kills brain cells. This particular myth came about during the second Reefer Madness Movement and was based on poorly conducted experiments that failed to show any correlation between brain cell damage and the use of marijuana. Even recent studies have yet to show any kind of damage to the brain from marijuana use. Despite these findings, anti-drug radicals still claim that that marijuana can harm memory perception and judgment by destroying brain cells. What does kill brain cells is depriving the brain of oxygen. So unless someone is holding the breath for 5 minutes after ever hit or drag, there’s no way that marijuana will kill or brain cells....
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