There are several commonly held beliefs about marijuana which aren't true. With the proposed ballot initiative coming to a vote in November, these are the facts you need to know.
Myth: Marijuana is not addictive.
Marijuana is both addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used as an adolescent.
One in every six 16 year-olds (and one in every eleven adults) who try marijuana will become addicted to it.
The majority of adolescents who receive treatment for substance use at Maryhaven use marijuana.
Myth:Smoking marijuana doesn’t make you dumb.
Adolescents who smoke marijuana regularly are almost 6 x’s more likely than nonsmokers to drop out of school and over 3 x’s less likely to enter college.
Using marijuana regularly before the age of 18 resulted in an average IQ of 6 to 8 fewer points at age 38 versus to those who did not use the drug before 18.
Myth: No one has ever overdosed from marijuana.
Marijuana may not produce direct overdoses, but we would not say it can’t hurt you.
Emergency room admissions in states that have legalized marijuana use now are continuing to rise.
Marijuana infused products like candy, food and beverages pose a significant risk for youth.
Myth:Marijuana users are clogging our prison systems.
About 0.7% of all state inmates were behind bars for marijuana possession only (with many of them pleading down from more serious crimes).
In total, one tenth of one percent (0.1 %) of all state prisoners were marijuana-possession offenders with no prior sentences.
In Ohio currently, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor with $150 fine.
Myth:Everyone is already using marijuana.
Marijuana is used by only 8% of Americans.
Alcohol use is used by 52% of Americans and tobacco is used by 27% of Americans.
Myth: Medical marijuana is important.
We need more research to determine the benefits of marijuana use.
Marijuana may contain medical components, like opium does. But we don’t smoke opium to get the effects of morphine. We don’t call morphine “medical heroin”.
We don’t vote on other medications like Percocet or Vicodin. Why do we vote on marijuana as medicine?
Myth:Medical marijuana helps the sick and dying.
Very few people (2-3%) of those seeking a recommendation for medical marijuana use have cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis.
Medicines developed from cannabis have been around for decades – Marinol and Cesamet. Other cannabis-based medicines are in clinical studies.
Ohio currently has a pending legislation HB 33: Seizure disorders-authorize use of cannabidiol and other cannabis- derived drugs and substances. Otherwise known as the “Charlotte’s Web” it is a strain of cannabis used for medical purposes. It does not induce a “high” associated with recreation marijuana and has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of less than .3%.
Myth:Lots of people smoked marijuana as kids and turned out fine.
The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—THC—has increased almost six-fold in average potency during the past thirty years.
Edible marijuana-infused products didn’t exist decades ago. With the ability to extract high level THC oils, waxes and other products the “high” effect of marijuana is very different than just smoking.