Marijuana side effects


Recreational marijuana use is still a topic of debate in Washington state.


Drugs can be used as the ultimate shortcut to joy, and in a decade filled with high fructose corn syrup and whiskey, marijuana is just about the least consumptive path to artificial enjoyment.

Regardless, I won’t be smoking cannabis anytime soon. The pursuit of happiness may have been written into the Constitution, but I doubt the Founding Fathers had a hit of Mary Jane in mind.

In an atmosphere charged with paranoia about excessive antibiotic use in humans and animals, the disturbing lack of concern over casual and social drug use is rather odd, especially since the negative effects of marijuana are well-documented.

The choice of what is put into your body should be completely up to you, but unpremeditated drug use is a very irresponsible decision.

Researchers have recently discovered that marijuana may be more damaging to the development of the brain than originally thought, according to NPR. A child’s brain is larger when compared to that of an adult. During the teenage years, the brain prunes back the connections that aren’t really used, making the brain faster and more efficient.

The process of development in the brain aids in judgment making, thinking critically and memory. According to the NPR article, consistent use of marijuana has been shown to disrupt this coming-of-age “brain change,” affecting the grades of teenage cannabis aficionados and the IQ and decision making of adults.

Unfortunately, increased marijuana use in teens is coupled with the fact that the marijuana of today is much different than the historical plant. The current drug is much more potent and contains higher levels of THC, the mind-altering component of marijuana.

Marijuana smoking in teens also has long term effects in the brain, according to PBS. Heavy marijuana users often have the memory-related structures in their brain shrink and collapse inward. The abnormality was recorded two years after the teens stopped using marijuana and scientists have commented that these defects look similar to those seen in schizophrenia patients.

The earlier marijuana use begins, the worse the damage is to the memory regions of the brain.

Smoking pot does not a great memory make, yet high school and college students appear to see marijuana as a party necessity.

Damage to the brain in cannabis use has actually led scientists to coin the term “cannabis use disorder” (CUD), according to Psychology Today. Prolonged marijuana use also exposes individuals to increased mental health risk.

Obviously, marijuana is a real winner.

The risk to college-age and older individuals when smoking cannabis is likely significantly less than the danger in teenagers. However, brain damage is brain damage, no matter how you look at it.

A shot of whiskey damages your liver, marijuana hurts your brain and high fructose syrup is just bad for you period.

These shortcuts to happiness all come with major side effects, so you better choose wisely. Your life depends on it.