7 Major Reasons to Dump Mary Jane

Marijuana
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Mary Jane, marijuana, pot, weed, dope, blunt, grass, skunk, Texas tea, widow, hash, hashish, cannabis; there are many names to refer to the widespread fad among teenagers and many adults, an herb that is regulated and legally condoned only for medicinal use. Teenagers start the smoking of cannabis early on, believing it to be one of the safest drugs to intake. The side effects are understood to be few and far in between. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yet, one could say that most of the current North American population has tried the drug under peer pressure at least once. Many have also sought it out on their own, believing it adds to their image, a psychological fallacy that dealers pounce on without mercy. Not the smartest move. Then again, we were never proclaimed wisest in our younger years, hence we can write it off as one of the follies of youth.

Those follies can have immensely adverse effects on our health, however. What many don’t know and most don’t consider is that cannabis use is actually directly related to cancer. That’s right. The big “C” word was just used. That big “C” doesn’t just appear in one form either. Many would be staring at these words in disbelief. It’s hard to imagine the seemingly harmless drug causing much mayhem, right? Unfortunately, information has been misrepresented by those who would sell you the drugs, or is lacking entirely.

When considering the relation between marijuana and cancer, 3 major manifestations have been found to be most prominent, especially when the drug is combined with cigarette smoke.

• Prostate Cancer: In one particular study referenced in Cancer, it was discovered that there was an increased risk of prostate cancer among cannabis smokers that didn’t touch cigarettes.

• Testicular Germ Cell Tumour (TGCT): Another study focussed on the adverse effects of the drugs, revealing a link between its intake and an increased risk of TGCT.
• Lung Cancer: International research on the topic has revealed that cannabis, especially when coupled with tobacco smoking, increases risk of lung cancer.

Marijuana is a carcinogenic, greatly affecting the body’s physiology. The immediate effects include rapid palpitations, disorientation, lack of coordination and follows with depression and a deep sleep. For some, this “high” is what they seek out the drug for. According to www.drugfreeworld.org, marijuana contains 50-70% more cancer-causing substances within it than the average cigarette, and government warning labels on those dreadful legal drugs are proof enough to the dangers of smoking the latter. One can thus imagine the damage youth cause to their own health when they start smoking “weed” at such alarming rates. Not enough to make you stop and think about this “safe” drug currently on the road to acceptance and legalization? Consider these then. Marijuana use, albeit on a social basis, has been known to cause:

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• Brain abnormalities: Studies conducted in Australia have shown the same type of brain abnormalities caused by marijuana as proven to exist through the use of heavy drugs. The mental functions have been shown to diminish in other studies as well, greatly decreasing ability to remember simple things. When considering students, especially in high school and university, the ability to study and retain information deteriorates rapidly, as well as reducing ability to understand material presented by teachers and professors clearly.

• Sexual organ abnormalities: It has been proven that marijuana causes sperm defects and temporary sterilization in men, while greatly altering a woman’s menstrual cycle.

• Reduced immune system: Smokers of marijuana have been observed to have lost their ability to fight off illnesses as efficiently, falling victim to colds, bronchitis, and many other more common ailments with more severe symptoms.

• Birth defects: Smoking marijuana can lead to abnormal cell divisions, which causes new hereditary defects to form and children to be born premature, both undersized and underweight. Children are born with reduced mental capacities, including a lessened ability to concentrate and pursue life goals. Furthermore, prenatal smoking of marijuana can increase chances for the onset of leukemia in children.

When using cannabis, you are most definitely not working with a safe drug. There have been arguments thrown about that alcohol is as much of a drug and causes similar impairments, trying to reason for the support of its legalization. This is true on some very basic levels. However, alcohol contains a single ingredient, ethanol, while each marijuana joint can contain over 400 different chemicals, most of which are cancer-causing agents. Furthermore, alcohol can be flushed out of your system within a few hours, while traces of THC, the major component of cannabis, can be found in one’s system for weeks on end, sometimes stretching into months, impairing cognitive abilities.

You do the math. Is it really worth the moment’s high?

Sources: Cancer.gov, Drug Free World. Image source: Wikipedia

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