Dispelling Weed Myths

Dispelling Weed Myths

Myths about marijuana have existed forever, and have only intensified since legalization.  

While some myths vanished rather quickly, others have persisted. Let’s dispel some of them.

“Legalization leads to addiction.”

There is no evidence that new users of marijuana have become addicted to it or to any other drug.

While studies show that marijuana consumption has indeed increased after legalization, that increase has taken place among adults, not teens. It should also be noted that use among teens in Colorado has actually declined in the years after legalization.

“Marijuana is a gateway drug.”

This one is still popular today, especially in anti-drug programs for teens. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this myth. In fact, nothing proves that cannabis consumers end up using other (illegal) drugs.

While it’s true that many people who use hard drugs also smoke cannabis, they don’t use hard drugs because they use cannabis, but for other reasons.

“Medical marijuana is a joke.”

This myth is rather easy to dispel. Many researchers, as well as patients, continue to prove the benefits of medical marijuana. Repeated cases of medical marijuana helping children with seizures, for example, have gone a long way toward convincing people that cannabis can actually be used as a medicine.

“You can overdose on weed.”

Yes, using too much weed can cause anxiety, vomiting, and dizziness. And, yes, driving or handling heavy machinery while high can cause serious injuries, or worse. But you can’t die from an overdose of weed.

According to the National Cancer Institute, you can’t die from a cannabis overdose because “cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration.”

“Cannabis users will be a big financial drain on society.”

Instead of draining budgets, tax revenue from legal (medical) marijuana sales have actually helped states to increase their bottom lines. Most of this revenue has benefited schools, health programs, and educational programs about, among other things, illegal drugs.