Got the munchies?
What new laws legalizing pot may mean for our health.
I don’t personally smoke (or eat) marijuana, but I do live in Colorado, so if I decided to take up the habit, I would no longer be risking arrest. As of last week, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize the recreational use of the drug.
As soon as the news broke, the jokes started flying (Rocky Mountain high, anyone?). Even my state’s governor, John Hickenlooper, couldn’t resist taking a “pot” shot:
“Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
But just because smoking weed will no longer get you arrested in these two states doesn’t mean it can’t wreak havoc on your health. The adverse effects of pot smoking (or eating — since the edibles market is likely to increase in places where consumption is now legal) are the subject of much debate. Pot’s proponents claim that a little weed is no worse for you than a cocktail or a couple glasses of wine. And to some extent, they’ve got a point. Some of the major hazards of marijuana intoxication are virtually the same as those associated with alcohol intoxication — namely, impairments in reaction time, information processing, motor coordination and focus.
Other connections to ill health are a little more elusive. A couple of studies have linked regular marijuana use to an increased risk of testicular cancer.
And it stands to reason that smoking pot can set you up for many of the same respiratory troubles —such as chronic cough and bronchitis — as cigarette smoking. And according to Wayne Hall, a cannabis researcher at the University of Queensland, Australia, marijuana use is “highly correlated with use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs — all of which adversely affect health.”
The real question, though, is whether or not legalization will make more people likely to overlook the potential health dangers and become marijuana users. I don’t know of anyone who reacted to the election news by going out and grabbing their first pot brownie, but it is possible that some people will now treat Colorado and Washington as stateside versions of Amsterdam. Honestly, I don’t think the law will ultimately change most peoples’ behavior, and, with any luck, it will add some revenue to the states’ coffers.
So I may not smoke it, but yeah, I voted for it.
Note: While page #1 is barely legible, pages 2-9 are intact and readable.
There is also a 2012 study on this subject that was done in England, with a summary reported in Scientific American here:
Yes, smoking pot can cause respiratory problems too, but so can cigarettes, which are legal too.
There is a concern about use in teenagers. It increases the risk of schizophrenia for one thing. Since teenager shouldn't be using it anyway, it is a non-issue.
The other big concern is smoking pot during pregnancy. In that respect, pot should not be treated differently from any other drug. If you are planning pregnancy or are pregnant, don't smoke. The effects on the developping brain are different from the effects on the adult brain.
Did you know that smoking pot can also help alleviate problems with asthma, Tic syndrom AKA tourettes-- How do i know this, because i have them. After the first month of smoking my asthma was completely gone, my facial tic and speech blurting stop near instantly after smoking the first time. I could finally focus on working on my school studies instead of focusing on people staring.
My Tourettes consists of constant anxiety "fearing people are watching me phantom tic", OCD, ADHD, on top of these symptoms, i cant even get ADA at my College for it. I dont know about anyoen else but not being able to pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes can really hurt you academically.
When i was younger my symptoms were a lot worse, like the common statistics most children with it lose it soon after puberty, well I am one of the smallest percents in the world. When i was younger I would violently Tic and it was quite noticeable, children at my school would openly mock me in front of my parents and simulate the facial expressions I could not contain. At certain points it would effect my breathing, I would try and hold my breath to concentrate on the nerves twitching and try and hold them back. - One time I forgot I was holding my breath I was Tic'ing so bad and I ended up holding it till i passed out. All my parents could do is sit there and watch me hold my breath and practically kill myself. My dad rushed me to the ER where they proceeded to give me 3 full shots of Valium. MY dad said after about 10 minutes i dozed off, while sleeping he could see my eyes still blinking furiously and then20 minutes after that its like my twitch was completely gone. That was about the time they put me on Guanfacine and Clonidine"Heart Medications." side-effects--- Drowsiness main one-- so much to the point i would take my prescribed pill, go to 6th grade class and fall asleep every day of every year i took those drugs. I failed my younger education and had no social interaction with other kids until i was in my Senior year of High school.
I am not saying weed is some miraculous substance, for me it has given me my life back and has given me the ability to go through life able to function and basically relax. I don't have to worry about other people making fun of me, i dont have to worry about standing out. I have a 3.4 GPA and I am 1 year from recieving my bachelors in Criminal Justice, hopefully I can find a job that can suit my needs, for i am a hard worker and am ambitious in every trait i come across, I exceed in engineering and computer design, I have played live performing bands in front of audiences, i love building computers.
I believe everything is to betaken into moderation and our youth is in need of desperate guidance from adult figures on how consuming anything at great quantities is a risk to your health.
Without my Parents behind me and helping me every step of the way, I couldn't have made it in this world. I am not advocating for marijuana and lavish cultural smoking, I am just saying look at the greater need for something that can give benefit to people who need something.
Look up the substances that can help people that have tourrets and ask yourself which one is better....... Cannabis, Amphetamines, Nicotine -- I don't want to be a junkie, I just want to create a prosperous life and future for a young adult who wants to live and have children.