Top 10 Marijuana Myths

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As we grow up, we're lead to believe certain things whether they're taught to us or they're implied by the people we're around… many of these things are true, but some simply aren't.  Please note that the intent of this article is not to advocate the use of drugs but to assail the use of misinformation.  Without further delay, here is my top 10 list of marijuana-related myths:

  1. Marijuana is more harmful than tobacco – Many people think smoking marijuana is just as harmful as smoking tobacco, but this is not true for many reasons.  (For example, most marijuana smokers smoke the bud, not the leaf, of the plant. The bud contains only 33% as much tar as tobacco; Not one case of lung cancer has ever been successfully linked to marijuana use; Cannabis, unlike tobacco, does not cause any narrowing of the small air passageways in the lungs.) Click here for more details.
  2. Marijuana is a gateway drug – We were taught in school that people who try marijuana eventually move on to crave harder drugs, usually with the implication that marijuana is addictive and coke or crack are just the next step. In hindsight, this is absurd.  The primary basis for this "gateway hypothesis" is a recent report by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), claiming that marijuana users are 85 times more likely than non-marijuana users to try cocaine. This figure, using data from NIDA's 1991 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, is close to being meaningless. It was calculated by dividing the proportion of marijuana users who have ever used cocaine (17%) by the proportion of cocaine users who have never used marijuana (.2%). The high risk-factor obtained is a product not of the fact that so many marijuana users use cocaine but that so many cocaine users used marijuana previously.  It is hardly a revelation that people who use one of the least popular drugs are likely to use the more popular ones – not only marijuana, but also alcohol and tobacco cigarettes. The obvious statistic not publicized by CASA is that most marijuana users – 83 percent – never use cocaine. Indeed, for the nearly 70 million Americans who have tried marijuana, it is clearly a "terminus" rather than a "gateway" drug. Click here for a recently-released 12-year study on the subject.
  3. Marijuana causes brain damage – The most celebrated study that claims to show brain damage is the rhesus monkey study of Dr. Robert Heath, done in the late 1970s.  This study was reviewed by a distinguished panel of scientists sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.  Their results were published under the title, Marijuana and Health in 1982.  Heath's work was sharply criticized for its insufficient sample size (only four monkeys), its failure to control experimental bias, and the misidentification of normal monkey brain structure as "damaged".  Actual studies of human populations of marijuana users have shown no evidence of brain damage.  For example, two studies from 1977, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed no evidence of brain damage in heavy users of marijuana.  That same year, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially came out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.  That's not the sort of thing you'd expect if the AMA thought marijuana damaged the brain.
  4. Marijuana use is increasing at an alarming rate - Reports of slight increases in marijuana use, especially among youth, are being used to convince Americans that a renewed campaign about the drug's dangers is necessary to avert an impending epidemic.  According to government surveys of the general population, marijuana use began decreasing in 1980, after more than a decade of steady increase. By 1990, the downward trend showed signs of slowing, but use-rates remained substantially lower than those recorded in the 1970s.  Today 34.3% of high school seniors claim to have smoked pot in the last 12 months which is down from 52.8% in 1976, 50.9% in 1986, and just barely higher than the 33.1% of 1996.  See for yourself.
  5. Marijuana is more potent today than in the past – This myth is the result of bad data.  The researchers who made the claim of increased potency used as their baseline the THC content of marijuana seized by police in the early 1970s.  Poor storage of this marijuana in un-air conditioned evidence rooms caused it to deteriorate and decline in potency before any chemical assay was performed.  Contemporaneous, independent assays of unseized "street" marijuana from the early 1970s showed a potency equivalent to that of modern "street" marijuana.  Actually, the most potent form of this drug that was generally available was sold legally in the 1920s and 1930s by the pharmaceutical company Smith-Klein under the name, "American Cannabis".
  6. Marijuana is an addictive drug – It is now frequently stated that marijuana is profoundly addicting and that any increase in prevalence of use will lead inevitably to increases in addiction.  Essentially all drugs are used in "an addictive fashion" by some people. However, for any drug to be identified as highly addictive, there should be evidence that substantial numbers of users repeatedly fail in their attempts to discontinue use and develop use-patterns that interfere with other life activities.  National epidemiological surveys show that the large majority of people who have had experience with marijuana do not become regular users.  In 1993, among Americans age 12 and over, about 34% had used marijuana sometime in their life, but only 9% had used it in the past year, 4.3% in the past month, and 2.8% in the past week.  A longitudinal study of young adults who had first been surveyed in high school also found a high "discontinuation rate" for marijuana. While 77% had used the drug, 74% of those had NOT used in the past year and 84% had NOT used in the past month.  Compare this to a truly addictive drug, such as the nicotine in smoked tobacco with a 90% addiction rate, and the argument for possible marijuana addiction starts to sound very silly.
  7. Marijuana damages the reproductive system – This claim is based chiefly on the work of Dr. Gabriel Nahas, who experimented with tissue (cells) isolated in petri dishes, and the work of researchers who dosed animals with near-lethal amounts of cannabinoids (i.e., the intoxicating part of marijuana).  Nahas' generalizations from his petri dishes to human beings have been rejected by the scientific community as being invalid.  In the case of the animal experiments, the animals that survived their ordeal returned to normal within 30 days of the end of the experiment.  Studies of actual human populations have failed to demonstrate that marijuana adversely affects the reproductive system.
  8. Marijuana suppresses the immune system – Like the studies claiming to show damage to the reproductive system, this myth is based on studies where animals were given extremely high — in many cases, near-lethal — doses of cannabinoids.  These results have never been duplicated in human beings.  Interestingly, two studies done in 1978 and one done in 1988 showed that hashish and marijuana may have actually stimulated the immune system in the people studied.
  9. Marijuana smoke contains over a thousand chemicals – True but very misleading.  The 31 August 1990 issue of the magazine Science notes that of the over 800 volatile chemicals present in roasted COFFEE, only 21 have actually been tested on animals and 16 of these cause cancer in rodents.  Yet, coffee remains legal and is generally considered fairly safe.
  10. Marijuana is a drug without therapeutic value – Proposals to make marijuana legally available as a medicine are countered with claims that safer, more effective drugs are available, including a synthetic version of delta-9-THC, marijuana's primary active ingredient.  For thousands of years, throughout the world, people have used marijuana to treat a variety of medical conditions.  Today, in the United States, such use is prohibited. Although 36 states have passed legislation to allow marijuana's use as a medicine, federal law preempts their making marijuana legally available to patients.  People undergoing cancer chemotherapy have found smoked marijuana to be an effective anti-nauseant – often more effective than available pharmaceutical medications. Indeed, 44% of oncologists responding to a questionnaire said they had recommended marijuana to their cancer patients; others said they would recommend it if it were legal. Marijuana is also smoked by thousands of AIDS patients to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with both the disease and AZT drug therapy. Because it stimulates appetite, marijuana also counters HIV-related "wasting," allowing AIDS patients to gain weight and prolong their lives.

These are all myths I heard growing up.  Perhaps not everyone was subject to the same misinformation, but I feel it's fairly safe to assume that there are others out there who had similar experiences.

The facinating part of this to me is not the drug in question, but the way the US government treats it.  If you're interested, check out this article about why it became illegal in the first place, and if you think that was written by some pot-smoking hippie, check out the hour-long special that runs on the History Channel or consult your nearest history professor.

Again, I'm not advocating drug use.  I do, however, oppose the spread of misinformation… just because it's illegal to speed doesn't mean it makes sense to tell people their cars will blow up once they hit 88 MPH.  Taking this approach with students seems much more harmful than educating based on truth.  At a young age children tend to accept parents and teachers as an authoritative and reliable source of information.  However, as they get older and find out on their own that some of the things they were scared into believing are not accurate, they'll likely lose trust in their original sources of information and discard important knowledge that could prevent them from making decisions that could ruin their lives.

Although few people face problems with marijuana addiction, if you have other addiction problems you could look into checking yourself into drug rehab.

72 comments to “Top 10 Marijuana Myths”

  1. Comment by Rohit:

    Wonderful post! Erudition seems to be our only hope. I made a similar post on my blog in the hope of opening peoples’ eyes.

  2. Comment by Pygy:

    What’s sadly true, though, is that it can quickly turn someone schizophrenic. The only prerequesite is some monoamine oxidase polymorphism (genetic predisposition) iirc.

    and this predisposition doesn’t mean that they would have turned schizophrenic anyway.

    Marijuana is safe for most, but not all people, and it’s impossible to know beforehand who’s at risk (unless you perform a genetic test).

  3. Comment by Obruo » Marijuana/Cannabis?:

    [...] That being said, this is an interesting article about the effects of cannabis and popular misinformation about it. [...]

  4. Comment by Nadav:

    Thank you. great post!

  5. Comment by Pollywogs! » Blog Archive » The best article on Marijuana you’ll read all day::

    [...] [...]

  6. Comment by nobody:

    All are correct with the exception of #5 — Marijuana today (some of it, at least) is much more potent than it was even a few decades ago. There is, of course, plenty of schwag or dirt weed that is just what most people where smoking back in the ’70s, but the science of marijuana cultivation has advanced quite a bit in the past 30 years. Selective breeding allows the grower not only to control the overall intensity of the high, but the specific type of high as well. While THC is generally used to refer to delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, there are other variations of THC, as well as many other cannaboids that are psychoactive. It is believed that the specific type of high from each strain is due as a result of the quantities of these lesser-known compounds. (See for more info.)

    In fact, there is even a competition to judge the various new strains that are being developed known as the Cannabis Cup (See

    I strongly suggest you update your list, as this is an obvious error, and as a result might cause people to question some of your other myths.


  7. Comment by Thinkar:

    Great mythbusting there!

    >Comment by Pygy:
    >Wednesday, December 6th 2006 at 3:22 am
    >Marijuana is safe for most, but not all people, and it’s impossible to know beforehand
    >who’s at risk (unless you perform a genetic test).

    The same could be said about any allergen (peanuts can be lethal to some people indeed).

  8. Comment by vika:

    Pygy, granted, what you write about safety-but-not-for-all is true – but it’s also true of many OTC drugs, foods, etc. A person can die from a bee sting if not treated quickly; need to be hospitalized after eating some strawberries; etc.

    Lovely post, Chris, thank you. I ranted a bit about misinformation myself recently – grateful for any corrections, of course.

  9. Comment by Natholin:

    And so the majoraty suffer for the few..
    Also there are alot of legal items out there that the few can be killed by, or have a nasty reaction to.. should we outlaw that too..
    Makes no sence Pygy..

  10. Comment by Rectime:

    In response to the comment regarding schizophrenia. I am not familiar with the research into this claim and thus will not dispute it openly here. However, I would like to point out that research shows that many individuals may suffer a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Yet, alcohol is freely sold in the US. Being the decendant of a long line of alcoholics, a drinker (though not an alcoholic by definition), and friend to several definable alcoholics; I am disturbed by the casual nature with which people overlook the destructive effects of alcohol on our society. I am also a rereational pot smoker and, interestingly, of all my friends who smoke marijuana, I would diagnose not one as a schizophrenic. I do have some experience in that I worked as a Behavioral Health Technician at a psychiatric hospital when I was in college.

  11. Comment by

    Top 10 Marijuana Myths

    posted at IndianBytes.c

  12. Comment by jon garver:

    nice post pass the cheetos

  13. Comment by lowdown:

    “Marijuana is more potent today than in the past”

    SOME is – through careful selective breeding. there is no doubt about that. This one should possibly not be in this list.

  14. Comment by Kell:

    “What’s sadly true, though, is that it can quickly turn someone schizophrenic. The only prerequesite is some monoamine oxidase polymorphism (genetic predisposition) iirc.”

    In response to Pygy: While this may be true, claims like this are what blow marijuana up into this big bad evil drug loaded with misinformation. It’s an example that is both already paranoid and intending to scare off a large audience to which this condition has no relevance. It’s a condition as rare as (if not rarer) someone’s predisposition to have heart failure or an aneurysm on a rollercoaster.

    I could eat a peanut, but I might be allergic. I could go into the flashing strobe light disco, but I might have epilepsy. I could train as a boxer, but I might get parkinson’s. God knows these have their examples but we don’t know anything! How do I know if the next time I take the stairs I won’t fall and knock my front teeth out? Look at how carbs are good for you one day and bad the next!

    I think it’s great to educate oneself on the benefits and risks of trying marijuana, but arguments like “marijuana can turn you schizophrenic” are almost irrelevant *because* these cases are so rare. “Marijuana can cause short-term memory loss” is another example that might be added to Chris’ list because the proof (which we love to rely on so much) is lacking, however I think it has more relevance to the larger population of users than schizophrenia because (in my experience) I’ve heard this complaint often among many long-term users.

    The people who made the statements in Chris’ list started off the same way: This is true.

  15. Comment by Kelsey:

    Well said. It’s the final statement, that makes it clear that this disinformation is ultimately far more harmful that the perceived danger of marijuana, that really needs to be publicized!

    Frankly, I’m reminded of the South Park episode with false “future selves…” lying to your children is very rarely an effective way to protect them.

  16. Comment by wladek:

    There is some research that suggests very heavy marijuana smokers may suffer structural changes in the brain (hippocampus). Though I can’t find any research done with people, it’s been seen in experiments on rats and primates. :

    “There have been…incomplete or poorly controlled reports of potential brain damage from animal research, and it has been possible to dismiss most of them as inconclusive.

    However, two experiments on rats, one appearing in 1987 and the other in 1988, gave stronger evidence that THC causes permanent changes in the structure of neurons in the hippocampus.

    The doses used were in the range of what a very heavy marijuana smoker might obtain, and the treatment was given to the rats every day for ninety days. It’s not clear what the implications might be for human beings smoking less heavily and only occasionally.

    Ironically, some of the nonpsychoactive ingredients in marijuana, including cannabidiol, have been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties that protect brain cells from toxic effects of other chemicals. This effect was strong enough that the NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health] filed a patent in 1988 entitled ‘Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.’”

    Oakley Ray, Ph.D. and Charles Ksir, Ph.D. note in their textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (NY: McGraw Hill, 10th Edition, 2004):

  17. Comment by steve neall:

    Great to see the facts instead of mindless propaganda.
    One more point it is impossible to overdose on Marijuana.
    I fail to see why nonusers are so determined to stop OTHERS .
    Most people don’t except being told what they should or should not do but will quite happily try to force their opinions on others.
    what is wrong with making your OWN informed choice either way.

  18. Comment by Goran:

    I smoked loads of that on my colledge. I graduated with B in psychology. I stopped using that stuff in such big quantities 2 yrs since graduation. Just because i found another interests in life. I now smok once or twice a year.
    I think that alcohol is much more killer and should be banned, my best friend is an alcohod addict and another oneis on marijuana. That one on alcohol is tottaly fucked up and in ruins. That one on ganja is little slow, but ok.
    Anyway, by my opinion now, forget drugs! Have sex! Sex is best drug, and it’s free, it’s good, and if you take care and wear condom it’s not dangerous!
    Greetings from Croatia!

  19. Comment by saurabh:

    With regards to point number 8 stating that Marijuana suppresses the immune system . What would be near-lethal doses of cannabinoids? I actually believed that, heard it from a friend actually. Just need a more detailed information or even links to the hashish studies.

    great post though….well backed up.


  20. Comment by T:

    I know someone that developed schizophrenia at the age of 18 from smoking cannabis. Which lead me to believe its not that rare a case.

  21. Comment by Doug:

    I think “near-lethal doses of cannabinoids” means a dosage WAY above what any marijuana user would consume and that if you did consume that much, a small supression in your immune system would be the least of your problems (you would be dying or at least extremely ill)

  22. Comment by J:

    “I know someone that developed schizophrenia at the age of 18 from smoking cannabis. Which lead me to believe its not that rare a case.”

    How many people do you know? How Many Pot smokers do you know? How many Pot smokers do you think there are in the US?

    I have met thousands of Pot smokers over the last 20 or so years and have never met one that became Schizophrenic at all much less because of Pot usage.

    As well, can the individual that you mentioned clearly link their Schizophrenia to Pot Usage?

    This is a huge problem with Anecdotal evidence. The lack of controlled experimental environment usually renders it impossible to show direct causal links. I have known one person who developed Schizophrenia, she was a cheerleader in highschool who was not known to use any drugs at all. One day at cheerleading practicing she simply broke down and started crying uncontrollably because she couldn’t stop the humming in her head. Are we to infer that cheerleading practice can cause Schizophrenia?

  23. Comment by SJ:

    There’s also big gap between full blown schizophrenia and the dope anxiety suffered by some users. The latter will certainly end within a day or so of stopping use.


  24. Comment by SJ:

    I’d also like to say that I just wrote a book that shows (amongst a lot of other things) how you can avoid or remove dope-anxiety, but I don’t want to advertise, so I wont say what it’s called…but I will say it would help everyone who suffers from it without question.

    Great discussion, with some sensible points being raised.

    Simon Jackson

  25. Comment by Gilgongo!:

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter whether pot is safe, unsafe, leads to bad or good things, etc. The fact is that cannabis, for whatever reason, became illegal, and now continues to be illegal through a set a vested interests that keep it that way.

    It’s not a conspiracy – it’s just the way local and national governments work and the way they fund public policy that’s the problem. Anyone with half a brain knows that cannabis needs to be decriminalised, but the network that has grown up around drugs and keeping them illegal means that pot can’t escape. It’s going to have to take people to get drugs far higher up the political agenda than it is now before anything will get done.

    Meanwhile, law enforcement (whose jobs are subsidised by anti-drugs budgets), politicians (who use drug policies to gain votes) and middle-class and other majority demographics (who use anti-drug policies to mask more diffcult problems like racism and inequality) will just keep on truckin.’

    The facts, I’m afraid, are irrelevant.

  26. Comment by tone:

    I’ve smoked 5 joints a day avg for 13 years now. I drive and have a clean driver license.
    I also very rarely get sick..I am 37 years old and i look 28.. I hike at high altitudes daily in the coughs or congestions ever!! You can’tsay that about tabacco!

  27. Comment by Brian:

    I knew someone that went schizo that smoked a lot of pot. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the pot. I have a small group of friends that smoke and he was one of them. Honestly, I think salvia and pot made him worse.

  28. Comment by daniel:

    great article and i agree with alot of the info. posted and as for medical use ive seen tons of commercials on FDA approved drugs to treat alot of diseases or conditions that the side effects are far worse than the condition itself so for those who wanna use bud for medical purposes and want to experience mild side effects like increased hunger and the reduction of stress go ahead a promote it i would rather take bud than take another drug thats just gunna make my liver bleed or make me develope some upper respitory problem like alot of the drugs i see on TV

  29. Comment by Bruce:

    All this is great. Here’s to another generation of adults living in their Mom’s basement!

    I was a heavy smoker from 7th grade to my early 40′s. Am now 50 and wish I would never have smoked a joint. I’d be healthier, richer, and smarter. So what if it doesn’t kill you or lead to crack! It is a waste of time, money, and makes you lethargic.

    Don’t you get tired of coming up with 50 ways to justify being a stoner, and cloaking it in intellectualism?

  30. Comment by Dave:

    Liar! Just kidding. Nice article!

  31. Comment by J,D. Hill:

    comment is directed at 2 comments left on this very informative article, first the comment related to schizophrenia, doubtful that marijuana cause anything other than a temporary paranoia that is more likely related to the user and his immediate environment while smoking and experiencing the effects. That is, if you are about to be in a public setting a personal feeling of paranoia may come about as the sense that others may know what you have been doing, thus some short lived non threatening paranoia may be present. I attribute this to the continued unlawful status of marijuana. From my own experience i know when i’m in the privacy of my home or feel safe in another setting these short lived paranoid experience do not exist. If I have to go in pulic I become aware of others often concerned as to weather or not they can smell it . Schizophrenia comes from someplace else not marijuana. The other comment i want to make is related to the potency of marijuana magically enhancing itself since the 70′s, nah, Marijuana been around forever, as we know, it did not magically become stronger just as its popularity gained strenght in in middle America Thank you .

  32. Comment by Bowers:

    I have smoked heavy amounts of weed for a while and nothing is wrong with me. The only thing that is a side effect is how much money you waste otherwise people make a too big of deal about marijuana.

    Great article for those people out there that think otherwise.

  33. Comment by Spider Baby:

    I used to be a pro-weed guy. I smoked it every day, loved it so much in fact that I quit playing music in the band (laziness), stopped painting and drawing, lost interest in my film making, etc, etc. Basically I, along with every one of my friends lived the “stereotype” of a pot head. Out of the 20 or 30 people that I knew who smoked pot there was maybe one or two who did not become the pot-head caracature. I’m all for legalizing it in some form, I don’t think if you choose to smoke it you should be deemed a criminal. But as much fun as I had for a few of those smoking years, I lost much more that I probably won’t get back in opportunities. It always came down to us siting on the couch watching Ren and Stimpy eating Taco Bell. And that’s all we cared about. We treated our bongs and glass pipes like treasures. Why did I stop smoking weed? Because I got bored and began shooting heroin. Didn’t happen over night but it happened. I graduated college, had a good job, but could not stop smoking dope. Eventually one thing lead to another and here I am now clean and sober. Three of my friends are dead from drug overdose, several never finished college, and a few others ended up in jail. One guy got let out of jail and all he had to do was not smoke pot. Couldn’t do it, ended up back in the joint. So there are a few who just stopped smoking, and maybe one or two who are living lives that they had intended on living successfully. So the big myth among pro-pot smokers is that everyone smokes it and its all cool, and it doesn’t have many negative effects. There is a small percentage of people, very small, that can lead successful lives and continue to smoke week every day for the rest of their lives. Most of us just get lazy, hungry, and eventually bored and move on to the next kick. I remember near the end of my pot smoking days I got up at a party and looked around and thought, what a boring group of people we have become. I might as well be on heroin…so that’s what I did, I started doing heroin. Much better high, but unfortunately my life was left in shambles. If you are smoking pot, its all cool, just don’t let pot be you identity. Let your talents, music, art, personality be what identifies you. On a happy note, since I have been clean and sober, I have painted more then ever. I also picked up my bass guitar again. It all comes back if you let it…

    Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em…cigars that is! :-)

  34. Comment by Brandon:

    Yes, that is very true dont let it identify you.That goes along with fat foods,alcohol,sex etc….obesity could ruin your life ,just use evrything in moderation dont let anything control you.Dont blame fat foods, weed , beer etc for fucking up your life you choosed to use it and you choose to let it rule your life or you choose to grab it buy the balls ,moderation and self control is the key.Pot users arent always unsuccesful look at Albert Einsteinhe was smart as hell and he smoked weed,George Washington the first president of the United States also smoked marijuana. Its only a negative thing if you make it negative thing .

  35. Comment by mike:

    Iv smoked pot for ten years now, And also have notice how lazy have become…..U lose ur motivation, money & friends…..I also know people who just did pot & let it lead to harder drugs, so yes it is a gateway drug inn the way that when u try POT…U say hey Ill try coke too why not…I would Say listen to the sloagns & Just say no-

  36. Comment by Chase:

    I definitely agree with the laziness argument, except I have found ways to counter it. As long as you have goals and you focus on them, no amount of weed can make you fail. Out of all of my friends who tried weed, I alone kept smoking it on a daily basis for a long time. Several of my friends are starting to smoke more heavily now, but I know a few who just stopped.

    In first year psychology we asked our Psych professor, Dr Helgo Schomer (who was the real Patch Adams’ sidekick once), if smoking weed could lead to schizophrenic symptoms. His answer was yes, but Emphasema will kill you long before then. He said you would have to smoke about half a gallon of the good stuff every day to develop real chemical imbalances and brain damage.

    Check out my blog dedicated to all things cannabis at

  37. Comment by

    Top 10 mitos sobre la Marihuana. (En inglés)

    Mitos: La marihuana es mas dañina que el tabaco. La marihuana es una droga de transicion hacia otras drogas mas fuertes. La marihuana causa daño cerebral. El uso de la marihuana esta aumentando alarmantemente. La marihuana es mas potente hoy que en e…

  38. Comment by touche:

    About nş2 – Gateway drug

    In a “ritual” point of view, marijuana is a gateway drug.

    It circulates in underground rings, the people that have it and use it are 90% of the times connected to the darker side of reality. How many times do u need to go to the hood just to get your share?

    How many of your pot smoking friends are in touch with stronger drugs? And how many of the non smoking? Thats the problem. No matter how cool and peaceful a pot smoker is, he will always be connected with drug dealers, who in turn are connected to the dark side of life – drugs, crime, etc…

    And due to this fact, you become exposed to higher and more potent drugs. You may feel tempted, and sometimes, even offered the drugs. Marijuana also alters your state of mind and decision making. You are more prone to do things out of a whim, without rationalizing.

    So yes, it is a gateway to stronger drugs.

  39. Comment by towlie:

    Yeah i think what you have to remember is that if your a pot smoker you will have lazy friends who sit on their ass all day i have friends who smoke pot and lead normal productive lives i have other friends who smoke and sit on they re ass all day it not the pot that makes them lazy its just the fact they are lazy same with schitzo people !
    ahh relax and light up a blunt !
    You wanna get high towlie !

  40. Comment by Browser:

    This is a little too biased towards pro-marijuana. Be careful not to put the drug across as completely safe. Providing biased information for pro-marijuana is as bad as providing bias against it.

  41. Comment by Mikes Conscience:

    “Iv smoked pot for ten years now, And also have notice how lazy have become…..U lose ur motivation, money & friends…..I also know people who just did pot & let it lead to harder drugs, so yes it is a gateway drug inn the way that when u try POT…U say hey Ill try coke too why not…I would Say listen to the sloagns & Just say no-”

    I would say you’re an idiot that doesn’t like to take responsibility for his actions (or inactions), instead chosing to “push” the blame of your failures onto inanimate objects such as weed.

    Weed doesn’t make you lazy, not getting off your arse and doing something makes you lazy.

  42. Comment by Stokely:

    To all of you reformed, holier-than-thou ex-potheads who claim that cannabis ruined your life and robbed you of your ambition: STFU! You’re a bunch of sniveling whiners that want to blame something or somebody else for your own bad choices.

    This whole marijuana use leads to amotivational syndrome argument is bullshit, pure and simple. I challenge anyone to demonstrate causality from these simplistic, and probably fictional, anecdotes.

    An alternative theory is that instead of cannabis use leading to lack of motivation,
    inherently lazy people gravitate to activities that enable and justify their laziness.
    You can see this all around you: excessive TV watching, video games, porn addiction, all of these things can be “blamed” for lack of drive and ambition, but it would be
    ludicrous to suggest that video games should be outlawed because some lazy asshole ruins his life playing them 18 hours a day.

    So here’s an anecdote for you: I know some very successful and highly motivated people, all multi-millionaires, that smoke weed either regularly or semi-regularly. How does that square with your dumbass theories now, bitches?

    Sure there’s plenty of unmotivated wankers that smoke weed, but that doesn’t mean that smoking weed makes you lazy. It just means that lazy people will find some reason to remain that way (like getting high every single night instead of expending the energy required to better themselves).

    If you’re gonna use cannabis or any psychoactive substance (including alcohol), respect it and don’t let it take over your life. It can be used responsibly, just like any
    other drug (yes, I said any, including meth, coke or smack). If it starts to give you
    trouble, grow yourself a pair and cut down or quit, but don’t keep doing it for ten
    years and then complain that it robbed you of your motivation. You always have a

    Basic reading for the misinformed:

    Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence.
    Lynn Zimmer & John P. Morgan

    Addiction is a Choice
    Jeffrey A. Schaler

    Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use
    Jacob Sullum

    The Natural Mind
    Andrew Weil

  43. Comment by Stokely:

    Oh, and one other thing on the immune-suppression argument. Suppression of the immune system sure sounds bad alright, but this shows how easily people are misled by rudimentary science.

    *Toxins* actually stimulate the immune system. Yep, that’s right, when the immune system detects a hostile invader it revs up in order to counter-attack. Things that lower your immune system are generally either healthful or benign.

    One thing you can safely say about cannabis is that has extremely low toxicity levels in humans. To quote the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young: “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is on of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.”

  44. Comment by Green:

    I have been smoking marijuana regularly since I was 14. I am now 45 years of age, have had the same excellent paying job (in law enforcement!) since I was 22, and I do not notice any memory loss, loss of analytical ability or motor skills. I was not lazy to begin with, and marijuana did not cause me to become so. Damn grateful they’ve never urine tested us.

  45. Comment by WhoahTubeDotCom:

    everybody invloved in interesting internet projects smokes marijuana – and without marijuana the internet would be a lot less interesting and forward thinking, weed gives people inspiration and ideas, man.

  46. Comment by dldenots:

    I’m older than most of you. I’ve been a pot smoker for well over 30 years. During part of that time I did use other illegal drugs. In addition to the reasons mentioned above of contact with the people who sell other things, I remember saying to friends–”Hey, they lied to us abuot Pot, so why should we believe them about Speed, LSD or anything else?!” By the way, I work full time, have a teenaged daughter (who knows I smoke and is therefore “turned off” by the idea!) and a husband. We own our home, are very ivolved in our church and regularly volenteer at our daughter’s school. I know several people in our situation as well as those who use cannibus medicinally. I have NEVER known anyone who became mentally ill from smoking pot! I HAVE known several people who have made themselves physically ill with cigarettes and alcohol, not to mention the people who have died from Rx or OTC drugs! The most dangerous thing about marijuana use is the laws. I’m lucky enough to be white and middle class so I’ve been able to avoid those problems so far!

  47. Comment by ButtersofDoom:

    The schizophrenia argument is lacking credibility. the studies in these instances are similar to the Nahas work and the junk science/maths that was used to say that smoking pot is a gateway drug. The scientists went and asked diagnosed schizophrenia patients if they had smoked cannabis and how much. The majority of these people were from extremely volatile backgrounds, with domestic and alcohol abuse at home, as well as abusing alcohol and committing violent acts themselves. Their socio-economic background may be the reason, it may be the pot the problem is that We cannot isolate these conditions into a controlled environment in which to test it empirically. Pointing out a correlation does not determine the effects. The Human psyche is a fragile thing that we barely understand ourselves. Stating that there is a chemical reaction that causes schizophrenia puts it into the realm of neuroscience and not into the psychologist’s, and yet the biggest proponents of this argument are the psychologists.

  48. Comment by Shawn:

    I completely agree with everything you have said, the approach that the U.S. Government is using to try and make people afraid to ever use is ridiculous and just generally bad for the youth. I am only 17 and I really don’t know what to believe. Is it bad? I know it’s not good(except for people that REALLY need it for chemotherapy or etc.), but it’s sure as hell is not worse then anything else, fast food, drinking, pumping ourselves with prescription drugs…America is fucked up but it would be a lot less fucked up if we were more true to ourselves and others around us.

    another subject,

    Marijuana is a gateway drug…..only because it’s part of the underground market or “black market” It is only a gateway drug because it gets bunched up with everything else under the “illegal” category. If it was legal….it would be just like drinking except not as bad. (but still bad for recreational use)

  49. Comment by Dr. John:

    What I find interesting is that, even in the group of marijuana supporters who have left comments here, much misinformation is still believed. It would be far too big a job for me to tackle it here, but as one who has done marijuana research for decades, trust me, it’s true.

    I will touch on a couple but I expect you to do your own research. I don’t have the time to lay it all out for you:

    A person does not ‘suddenly develop schizophrenia’ from smoking marijuana.

    The odds of ‘knowing’ someone who developed shizophrenia from smoking marijuana at age 18 are astronomically small, primarily because it is just as improbable that the battery of tests required to make such a diagnosis would even be done. Most likely what you ‘know’ is nothing more than a misinformed person’s own diagnosis … and rumour does the rest.

    As for the memory loss theory, there is a very recent study that shows, even heavy smokers return to normal within 30 days of non use, verifying the non-toxicity of this symptom. (A heavy smoker for this study was one who smoked at least a joint a day for a minimum of 13 years. Although the heavy smokers scored worse on memery tests at the beginning of the study [while still smoking marijuana] after 30 days of non use all people scored the same. You can find this study through Google.)

    I’ll leave it at that. As the science stands today, there is some pulmonary risk to smoking marijuana but that is really the worst of it. (Pulmonary for this purpose = lungs.)

    What the US government has done and continues to do regarding marijuana is absolutely shameful. If people knew the truth they would be outraged. Consider that one pill for a heavy nausea sufferer will cost $30 whereas cannabis does an even better job for about 30 cents. (Referring to strong, anti-nausea medication prescribed to patients such as those undergoing chemotherapy.)

    I will mention one more thing before I go. People usually take an anti-marijuana stand because they believe what they’ve been told. In a way, they can’t be blamed. At the same time, when they refuse to educate themselves and see the truth, for that, they must take full blame.

  50. Comment by 3749 Blogs » Smoke Weed Everyday!?!:

    [...] Information on the use of cannabis in the Rastafarian culture: [...]

  51. Comment by sam:

    how did it become so popular tho ?

  52. Comment by Zeke Shadfurman:

    Actually, I’ve read quite a few studies in more recent science magazines that supported the idea that pot causes bain dramage. One study said they were able to track the damage to as little as one joint. And every heavy pot smoker, I ever talked to, over the age of fifty flattly told me smoking pot fucks up your head.

    And a statistic done recently said that Marijuana just passed up ALL other oregon crops COMBINE as the biggest earning oregon crop. Sounds to me like someones probably using more. Maybe just in Oregon.

    So? Smoke on mates!

  53. Comment by zohai:

    Just found your blog while using stumbleupon. Excellent post! I am certainly pro-marijuana and would love to see it legalized. First state that decides to legalize MJ is going to experience one hell of a realestate boom with everyone wanting to move there LOL. Cheers mate, keep on blogging!

  54. Comment by dasven:

    all people smoke marijuana and hashish)))

  55. Comment by random:

    yea but if weed is made legal it will be abused by stupid teenagers and they’ll probably be more care accidents and pregnancy’s and other stupid things teenagers do
    so legalizing it wont help.

  56. Comment by openeyesandmind:

    Spider baby – “I might as well be on heroin…so that’s what I did, I started doing heroin.”
    dont blame the weed, you are clearly an idiot.

    Touche – “How many times do u need to go to the hood just to get your share?
    So yes, it is a gateway to stronger drugs. ”
    Government man says its a gateway, SO HE MAKES IT ONE, decriminalize or legalize it and that problem is solved.

    The two worst drugs in the developed world are alcohol and tobacco(not including food-heart disease being the biggest killer), yet they are both ok
    Alcohol & Tobacco – Good drugs {taxed, making billions every year}
    Marijuana – Bad drug {and untaxed}
    hmm think about it…….
    also Good old George Washington had both a brewery and a crop of cannabis on his farm.

  57. Comment by [CA] Medical Marijuana Ruling - Page 3 - Fires of Heaven Guild Message Board:

    [...] Marijuana is an addictive drug – It is now frequently stated that marijuana is profoundly addicting and that any increase in prevalence of use will lead inevitably to increases in addiction. Essentially all drugs are used in “an addictive fashion” by some people. However, for any drug to be identified as highly addictive, there should be evidence that substantial numbers of users repeatedly fail in their attempts to discontinue use and develop use-patterns that interfere with other life activities. National epidemiological surveys show that the large majority of people who have had experience with marijuana do not become regular users. In 1993, among Americans age 12 and over, about 34% had used marijuana sometime in their life, but only 9% had used it in the past year, 4.3% in the past month, and 2.8% in the past week. A longitudinal study of young adults who had first been surveyed in high school also found a high “discontinuation rate” for marijuana. While 77% had used the drug, 74% of those had NOT used in the past year and 84% had NOT used in the past month. Compare this to a truly addictive drug, such as the nicotine in smoked tobacco with a 90% addiction rate, and the argument for possible marijuana addiction starts to sound very silly. Chris Brunner .com » Blog Archive » Top 10 Marijuana Myths __________________ WoW – Lieutenant-Commander Ignitz, 70 Gnome Warrior, Shadow Council, Devstyle, Retired [...]

  58. Comment by jayjay:

    what a load of shit, especially about the addictive part…. total crap

  59. Comment by jacob:

    Love the truth…It’s sad that our country is so racist in so many ways, but will never admit it to the people. We have been feed false info for years and does our Gov. actually care? NO they don’t…Why would they? Well,they’re making a killing off busting ppl with it. There are more ppl in jain and prison for pot then anything else..what is wrong with this picture and the government ? It’s the mighty dollar they care about not US!!!!!!

  60. Comment by jacob:

    Just Legalize It and tax it. All our Government officials would stop crying like little spoiled brats and the economy would build up much better. I would say our Government leaders are all druggies…..they seem to lie straight to our faces and feed us B.S. about marijane that’s not even true. Come on Congress learn to speak the truth or don’t speak at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. Comment by Chris:

    Since when is being “lazy” bad?? lol


    i hate the fact that nature is being made illigal.. it grows off the earth …

    hmm i wonder why its here =/ lol x

  62. Comment by Jack:

    I think one of the problems when it comes to the effects that marijuana does or doesn’t have, is that we assume that we all react to it the same way, and the end of the day just like alcohol some develop a habit and some don’t. And the fact that some people develop a habit doesn’t mean that others can’t enjoy it responsibly and that goes for lots of drugs. At the same time just be aware that if you do overdo it you may develop some kind of dependence, even if it’s only psychological, so just make sure you monitor your use of any drug, to make sure you enjoy it as responsibly as possible.

  63. Comment by mindWalker:

    Why are people not getting to the root of the truth?
    Your mind is the most powerful creator for you.
    If you believe pot is bad for you, then it is.
    If you believe pot is good for you, then it is.

    By all accounts in the blog itself as well as the comments, there’s absolutely no conclusive evidence of pot being ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

    It is YOUR MIND that will make it into one thing or the other for you.
    Learn about your mind and the answers will just magically appear.

    As such, any opinion here is useless because it is absolutely personal.

    (Cars kill how many people a day? Let’s outlaw driving!!!!)
    Don’t put a second of thought into useless reasoning.
    It’s a waste of time and energy.
    It’s the driver that counts.

    What would happen if it was legalized?
    Look to the Netherlands for the answer.
    They’ve done it many years ago and it’s no issue whatsoever.

    The true division is FEAR vs TRUTH.
    You should share YOUR TRUTH and keep a lid on your FEAR.
    (Sidenote: I don’t remember exactly in which book I read it; maybe Stephen King, but it was about the word fear: FalseEvidenceAppearingReal)

    enjoy it if you really do!
    enjoy it if you don’t !

    Don’t think for a second that your own opinion on it is the final answer.
    Have an awesome day!!!
    Blue Skies,
    a freeflyer

  64. Comment by Marijuana…to smoke or not to smoke? « The Thing’s We Think:

    [...] Tags: drugs, getting high, marijuana, mary jane, peer pressure, smoking up, use, weed [...]

  65. Comment by meh:

    it’s a stupid plant. Personally I hate the shit. I got suckered by all the BS that it would mellow you out, or make you cool or spiritual or whatever. Well I smoked the shit and I thought I was levitating off the planet. It was not comfortable being in a park at a Martin Medeski Wood concert and feeling like I had to hold onto the grass or I would fly off the planet. But that wasn’t the only time it did that. Many times after I felt like levitating off the earth. It would make me freak out like my heart racing and I would get crazy thougts and thought I was going to die. This stuff sucks ass I can only smoke a little tiny bit and it makes me feel good if I smoke even one big puff I feel like I am flying off the planet and colors and kaleidoscopes and I see angels and demons and God and prophets and it’s fucked up shit and I did LSD and that just made my arms like in Alice in wonderland but the evil herb makes me levitate and talk to demons and that shit sucks and it made me schizophrenic and I had 400 voices in my head we were all talking about shit and they’d show me the future and I saw many things that actually came true because the demons and angels would talk to me on marijuaba. Once i stopped smoking that shit I got normal and have no more problems marijuana sucks ass and is gay crap and sucks.

  66. Comment by Johno Sal:

    The United States media is the key to this illegalization of marijuana. Corporations are owned by powerful people. If the news tells the public marijuana is bad, another dirty drug dealer is raided, or other marijuana related material, the public BELIEVES blown up properganda!

    Look people, the Nazi’s did the same exact thing with the Jews. They made porperganda video’s about how jews are bad, really bad, so bad we should get rid of them, and the public ate that up! When people who sit in front of a TV all night, or open a magazine, or turn on the radio, they let whatever they are doing decide what they think. Magazines tell us what is pretty and what is ugly. Advertisments everywhere brainwash the public everywhere.

    Think for yourself about this one. Government tells you marijuana is bad, do not believe it. Find the facts as stated above, all exept #5, and fight for marijuana to be legal people! Marijuana is not going to legalize itself. This is a fantastic medical treatment for people who are suffering with cancer and dying! Let’s start signing petitions, and attending rally organizations. Doing so does not make you a pot head or stoner or druggie, it makes doing what is right, right. Fight the power! Liberate yourselves, stop waiting for someone else to do it, get out there and spread the TRUTH about marijuana.

    Johno, a medicinal marijuana supporter

  67. Comment by Summerwhiff:

    wtf you say marijuana isnt getting stronger… Well thats just retarded obviously you dont know shit about weed or your ass has just been smoking shwag. Trust me brah if you go to a cali medical marijuana shop and get some dank like white widow. White widow is the strongest weed around and it wasnt around back in the day with the flowerchilds.

    Keep it real

  68. Comment by Major Crimes dropping.. - Page 2 - NotInKokomo.Com:

    [...] Top ten myths of marijuana informative reading. Chris Brunner .com » Blog Archive » Top 10 Marijuana Myths __________________ Definition of a Liberal: All the substance of a soup made by boiling the shadow of a chicken. [...]

  69. Comment by tim:

    Watch “The Union”. It explains all this plus more in great detail.

  70. Comment by cannabis culture:

    To say that weed is getting stronger and not a myth is simply accepting failed data points used to show this as a fact. The baseline used was crap weed mixed with shake, then compared to high quality bud they can get today. But that high quality bud was also available, just not for the baseline….flawed.

    That is not to say that growing marijuana has evolved. The techniques have greatly improved. However these techniques dont produce more potent marijuana. It produces the same potent marijuana grown for centuries….just more of it.

  71. Comment by Frankie Bad Lungz:

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  72. Comment by Different Weed:

    Spot on with all 10. Why do some people refuse to see the facts. I hope to see the day weed is legalised but things seem to be going the other way.

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