Saturday, April 20, 2024

Dangers of Marijuana Use

Today is April 20 or 420 which is the street code for marijuana or weed. Like with other evils that have been legalized in the United States such as abortion, so-called same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and so on, Marijuana has joined the ranks of now socially accepted behavior. I remember when I was a kid. Cops used to visit our classroom. One brought a red suitcase display with various drugs. He explained to us about each drug and the dangers surrounding their use. 

Shortly afterward, I remember the cartoon program that aired on all networks containing the popular characters at the time. This cartoon was geared towards teaching kids about drugs and why they are not good.  How times have changed! Now it is celebrated!  Drug use is now a thing that even our own government promotes. You will even find people who will defend the use of Marijuana justifying it by claiming it is legalized, therefore it is good. This is not how ethics or morality works or even healthcare. The majority does not decide what is right or wrong. Things are intrinsically good or evil or can be abused. Marijuana is one such thing. While it is natural, it is a plant, and it can be abused. 

Medicinal Marijuana does have its benefits, but this form is controlled. Only the beneficial parts remain. Recreational marijuana is a different story. It is harmful to the smoker's health and those around the smoker. States that have legalized its use have seen a rise in crime. In New York, California, and Massachusetts, we see a huge rise in crime. People are being pushed into trains, into traffic, punched, slapped, and stabbed. Most of the attackers are labeled as "mentally ill" but upon closer inspection, they are high on drugs, namely, Marijuana and Synthetic marijuana or "K2."  

These cities and Democratic-run states even encourage drug use. Instead of helping drug addicts, they give them syringes and even have places in parks or on the street where they can shoot up their drugs. The syringes are then discarded on the street, park grounds, alleys, and sidewalks where innocent people or pets can jab themselves with them by accident. Despite being against state and federal law (Federal prosecutor threatens to shut down NYC overdose prevention centers - CBS New York (cbsnews.com)), these injection safe spaces were created and are active.

Now the idea for this handing out of syringes and creating "safe injecting sites" was to limit the spread of HIV, Hepatitis, and other intravenous pathogens or viruses and to prevent addicts from dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone or Narcan are provided with syringes. This is a drug administered via a nasal spray that can potentially save the life of someone who has overdosed by reversing the effects.  

However, things did not work out as planned.  As stated, used syringes are being disposed of improperly and after injection along with the Narcan (unused), addicts are seen in a zombie-like state, acting irrationally or feral, passed out, and in some cases, deceased from a heavy overdose. At St. Mary's Park in my hometown The Bronx in New York City, residents have been complaining about this for years. In a few months, over 6,000 used syringes were found on the grounds of the park. Last year alone, over 30,000 were found.  See:

Drug needles, syringes litter a Bronx park. This organization is taking action. - CBS New York (cbsnews.com)

Residents worry about an ongoing safety risk at St. Mary's Park: Discarded needles - Mott Haven Herald

Used needles, syringes litter one of the only parks in the South Bronx - CBS New York (cbsnews.com)

So while the intention was good-natured, it backfired. The government and health officially literally believed that addicts have the discipline and temperance to "shoot up" responsibly if that makes sense. Instead, overdosing and deaths due to them have increased in NYC, see:

(91) NYC drug overdose deaths skyrocketing, experts explain - YouTube

Report details "unprecedented" number of drug overdoses in NYC (youtube.com)

This is not the way to help drug addicts or even alcoholics. The same was done with Marijuana. The legalization of Marijuana as recreational was done in an attempt to raise money for the government. Instead of having drug dealers make millions, why not the state? The state became the drug dealer. They do not care about citizens or those with addiction. Many areas are now rethinking their laws that legalized Marijuana use. Thailand is one such nation doing this after there was a rise in crime and mental health problems.  

The Dangers of Smoking Marijuana: A Closer Look

Marijuana, often referred to as weed, pot, or cannabis, is a topic of significant debate and research due to its widespread use and the shifting legal landscape surrounding it. While some advocate for its benefits, particularly in medical contexts, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential risks associated with its use, especially when smoked. Here, we delve into the dangers of smoking marijuana, supported by references to recent studies and health resources.

Marijuana, while it may be something natural – a plant – it is still dangerous. It is the most used illicit drug in the United States and its effects come instantly once a person smokes it since the smoke enters the lungs and then the bloodstream via the alveoli immediately. These effects can last over three hours.

  • Marijuana is a psychoactive drug which means that it alters the mind and how it perceives reality.
  • It distorts what we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Our perception of time is disrupted. Marijuana also disrupts learning, and memory and takes away coordination.
  • Users of the drug have trouble concentrating, and cannot problem-solve or think clearly. The heartbeat increases while blood pressure drops dramatically. So much for recreation/fun right?
  • These symptoms are due to the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC chemical which affects the nerve cells in the brain by disrupting anandamides because both have nearly identical molecular structures. Anandamides ironically are natural marijuana-like chemicals that the brain produces. It helps with pain relief.
  • Furthermore, the use of marijuana weakens the immune system due to the presence of THC. Smoking it also poses dangers to the lungs because it contains 50% more carcinogens than regular cigarettes. It will also bring about anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and paranoia.
  • The verdict is that using marijuana for recreational reasons is not a good idea and is hardly recreational or fun.

Impact on Brain Health

Research indicates that marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss, particularly when use begins at a young age. This loss in cognitive function does not appear to be reversible, even after ceasing marijuana use.

Mental Health Concerns

There is a documented link between marijuana use and various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and psychotic episodes. While causation is not fully established, the correlation is a cause for concern, particularly among younger users who are at a higher risk of addiction.

Physical Health Risks

Smoking marijuana can lead to respiratory issues similar to those caused by smoking tobacco. This includes an increased risk of bronchitis, lung infections, and potential damage to lung tissue. Additionally, there are cardiovascular risks, with some studies suggesting a link between heavy marijuana use and an increased risk of heart failure and other vascular diseases.

Exploring the Complex Relationship Between Marijuana and Cancer

The intersection of marijuana use and cancer is a topic of growing interest and research, particularly as the legal landscape surrounding cannabis continues to evolve. The plant Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana, has been utilized in herbal remedies for centuries, and modern science has begun to shed light on its potential therapeutic and adverse health effects.

Cannabinoids, the biologically active components of marijuana, have been identified and extensively studied, with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most well-known. These compounds have shown promise in managing symptoms related to cancer and its treatments, such as nausea, pain, and loss of appetite. For instance, pharmaceutical forms of THC and a synthetic cannabinoid called nabilone have received FDA approval for treating conditions like chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

However, the relationship between marijuana and cancer risk is complex and not fully understood. While some studies suggest a potential increased risk of certain cancers, such as lung, head, and neck cancers, associated with long-term cannabis smoking, the quality of this research is not as robust as the evidence linking tobacco use to cancer. Moreover, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that marijuana use is associated with a higher risk of other forms of cancer, including prostate, cervical, penile, and colorectal cancers.

The method of marijuana consumption also plays a significant role in its health effects. Inhaled marijuana, whether smoked or vaporized, introduces a range of chemicals into the body, some of which are known irritants and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. This exposure can lead to lung irritation, acute bronchospasm, and an increased risk of chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Conversely, edible forms of marijuana, which are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, produce different psychoactive effects and have a delayed onset of action.

It's important to note that the legalization of marijuana in various states has led to increased usage and a greater need for public education on its potential health impacts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations continue to study marijuana's health effects, including its potential to manage the side effects of cancer therapies.

Ongoing research is essential to fully understand the implications of marijuana use on cancer risk and to guide patients and healthcare providers in making informed decisions about its therapeutic use. As with any substance, moderation and medical guidance are key to minimizing risks and maximizing potential benefits.

Effects on Athletic Performance

Timing, movement, and coordination are essential for athletic performance, and these can be adversely affected by marijuana use. The impairment of these physical capabilities can have a significant negative impact on athletes' performance levels.

Risks During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should be particularly cautious, as marijuana use can affect fetal growth, potentially leading to premature birth or stillbirth. Furthermore, THC and other chemicals can be transferred to the child through breast milk, impacting the child's development.

Influence on Daily Life

The use of marijuana is not without consequences in one's daily life. Studies have shown that regular users may experience relationship problems, educational setbacks, lower career achievement, and overall reduced life satisfaction.

Addiction and Dependency

Contrary to some beliefs, marijuana can be addictive. The risk of addiction is higher for those who begin using at a younger age, with approximately 1 in 6 becoming addicted if they start before age 18. For adults, the addiction rate is around 1 in 10.

Conclusion

While the conversation around marijuana is complex and multifaceted, it is essential to consider the potential dangers of its use. Smoking marijuana, in particular, carries risks that can affect an individual's mental and physical health, as well as their overall quality of life. As research continues to evolve, it is important for individuals to stay informed and weigh the risks when making decisions about marijuana use.

If you are smart and care about your life and others, do not use it! It will just remove days from your life and the lives of others. It is just not worth it.  Why would you want to be high? Why do you want to "escape from the world" by being "out of your mind?" Why become a zombie?  People who just marijuana and promote it seem to be afraid of life and reality. They think this plant will make things disappear via delusions and psychedelic experiences. News flash, life, and reality remain the same even after the high.  

For more detailed information and further reading on the subject, the following resources provide valuable insights: SAMHSA, WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, Scientific American, and Healthline. It is always recommended to consult with healthcare professionals when seeking advice on substance use and its effects.

Other sources:

Is marijuana legalization driving increases in violent crime? | The Hill

Luke Niforatos: Bad things happen when states legalize weed | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New study reveals increase in marijuana-related incidents since legalization in Illinois (fox32chicago.com)

America, take note: Thailand is set to REVERSE weed legalization after spike in cannabis-related mental health issues and crime - with government calling pot 'a big problem' | Daily Mail Online

Marijuana use during pregnancy linked to increase in childhood cancers, Duke study finds - ABC11 Raleigh-Durham

Genomic study links cannabis abuse to multiple health problems | YaleNews

Many Americans wrongly believe exposure to marijuana smoke is safer than tobacco, study finds | CNN

Genome study unveils genetic ties between cannabis use disorder and lung cancer risk (news-medical.net)

Marijuana & Lung Cancer Risk - Mayo Clinic Health System


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