Here’s What Marijuana Does To You

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Last week’s Weednesday Post generated several comments that took my side but the facts wrong. Specifically, a couple of commenters claimed “marijuana is harmless.” That’s not true.

While cannabis may be have fewer harmful effects than alcohol and tobacco, someone who abstains from all three will be healthier mentally and physically than the same person smoking pot.

On the other hand, a lot proponents of prohibition throw around bad science, too. The prohibition lobby has generated tons of false “facts” to manipulate the debate.

Luckily, Business Insider cataloged what we know about cannabis–good and bad.  Take a look at this slide show. Here are the top positives and negatives of smoking weed.

Negatives Positives
It blocks memory formation Marijuana also makes us feel good
It can mess up your reward system It’s better for your lungs than tobacco
THC messes with your balance It may decrease anxiety
Cannabis use may increase the risk of depression It controls epileptic seizures
Intense anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic are common side effects It relieves arthritis discomfort
Marijuana users may experience psychosis Marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases
Audio and visual hallucinations are common THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
It robs you of sleep A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading
Inhaling marijuana causes your heart rate to increase It’s been shown to alleviate PTSD

Finally, decriminalized or not, cannabis is illegal in Missouri. I think that’s a really bad law, but it is the law. In fact, Missouri has the most draconian pot laws in the country. Growing, possessing, buying, selling, and smoking are all crimes. And suspicious activity–like an indoor garden–subject you and your family to SWAT raids and searches, even if you’ve never seen a pot plant.



  1. I didn’t comment on the first article, but am very glad that you approached the subject. Here is a point that I don’t believe was mentioned in your article or in the comments. The states that have legalized pot are a part of the United States. Does the legalization in states, violate US obligations as signatories to the UN’s international drug control treaties? (I’ve read some good articles on and with regard to Bolivia’s coca leaf chewing population.) Please don’t assume that I agree with our involvement with the UN. (My opinion on that is that it should be more centrally located – anywhere but here.)

    I just find it amusing that when Missouri legislatures try to pass laws to protect us from an over-reaching Federal government – we hear screeches such as, “FEDERAL law trumps STATE law – you fools!” So, which is it?

    1. You’re beautifully foreshadowing a future post!

      Yes, the US law still lists cannabis as a substance more dangerous than cocaine or heroin. That US law derives from UN treaty on drugs. As a federalist, I appreciate Colorado and Washington pushing the issue to the limits. And we saw what happened–the federal government backed down.

      I’ll write more on the matter of UN dictates in the coming weeks.

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