Top 5 Myths About Weed That Just Need To Go Away

By Manny C.
Seriously, just stop.

5. Marijuana is a gateway drug


A report from the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine states clearly “no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs." yet this continues to be one of the biggest arguments against cannabis. Originally called the “stepping stone theory” the idea that cannabis use leads to the use of narcotics overlooks the simple fact that it’s because cannabis is forced into the illicit market where illegal suppliers also sell narcotics. Cannabis does not create the urge to use “harder drugs”, the constant exposure to other narcotics and sales attempts as people go to procure cannabis does.

4. Weed is addictive


No. Just, literally …. *deep breath*. As an activist this has to be one of the most frustrating comments I hear at any given time. I’ve literally stopped dead in my tracks from overhearing the conversations of strangers upon hearing this. It drives me bananas. Cannabis is not addictive, at worst it’s “habituating” but it literally lacks withdrawal. Completely. The biggest part of having an addiction, the main symptom that sets it apart as a diagnosis, is the the fact that the withholding of the chemical or substance would create physical symptoms known as withdrawal as a direct result. Weed has been proven time , after time, after time, to cause zero amount of withdrawal symptoms when the consumer is suddenly denied access to it for prolonged periods of time. Anyone who’s seen even a single episode of Intervention on A&E should be able to understand this.

3. Stoned driving the same as drunk driving


While it’s never ok to drive while not in the right state of mind or after consuming cannabis, it’s also not the same as driving drunk. Although MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) would like to pretend otherwise. While neither situation is in any way safe or legal, there are stark differences between the physical and mental impacts of cannabis and alcohol. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that drivers who use marijuana are “significantly less likely” to have an accident on the road than drunk drivers, and even that drivers with THC in their systems were “not any more likely” to cause or be involved in an accident than if they had not used drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

2. D.A.R.E. actually helps kids stay away from drugs


This is has to be one of the longest running, inside laughs of the cannabis community, and it just really needs to go away at this point. For many people, myself included, the D.A.R.E. program actually introduced us to drugs, what they were, and where to get them from a very early age. Like, early, as in, “can you boys and girls spell ‘officer’?” kind of early. And after two decades, billions of dollars, and millions of confused children later, we now have eight fully legalized states and over 50 million self identified cannabis consumers around the world. In fact the only decline that we’ve seen as a country in underage consumption, including alcoho I think our taxes could be spent better somewhere else, like research and after school programs that actually help children, but that’s just me.

1. Marijuana kills brain cells


This one… *eye roll* This is the number one myth that just needs to stop already, and here’s why: because they lied. The idea that cannabis kills brains cells comes from a horrible, inhumane, experiment conducted by Dr. Heath and Dr. Tulane. They were commissioned to find out if cannabis had impacts on cognitive functions in 1974 under the Nixon administration. The results were to be used to perpetuate the former president's “War on Drugs” and boost his re-election promises. However, when the scientists couldn't get the results the president wanted they took matters into their own hands. They forced the equivalent of about 20 Colombian joints worth of smoke into gas masks that the monkeys were strapped into, and forced the smoke into them...without oxygen. This went on in 5-0 minute bursts over the period of a couple months until the monkeys began to die of entropy. The scientist then claimed the entropy, death of the brain cells, was due to the cannabis consumption. It wasn’t until SIX YEARS LATER and under pressure from the scientific community and peers, that the Heath/Tulane Study released its methods and everyone was able to see what these mad men had done. The repetitive and extended oxygen deprivation slowly and painfully killed the monkey's brain cells and ultimately ended their lives… it was human cruelty that killed those monkeys, not cannabis.


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About the author: Manny C.

Cannabis Activist, industry blogger, and founding member of Illinois Citizens Responsible Regulation.