Marijuana has been used by so many people and is so immersed in our culture that people don’t respect it dangers. Working with adolescents with mental illness, marijuana is the biggest problem, I face as a psychiatrist.
Every adolescent tells me the same thing: “It’s natural”, “They are going to make it legal”, “Marijuana helps me sleep”, “Marijuana relaxes me”, Marijuana is harmless”, “Nobody gets in trouble on marijuana”, “It’s not as bad as alcohol” and “Nothing is fun without marijuana”.
Then there is always the arguments what it’s not: “Marijuana is not addicting”, “People can stop anytime they want”, “Marijuana doesn’t make you violent or aggressive”, “You cant over dose on marijuana”, “You can smoke all the marijuana you want and nothing happens”, “Nobody steals to get a marijuana fix”, “Marijuana is not a hard drug”, and “No one gets rushed to the hospital because they used marijuana”.
Groups of people are organized around using marijuana. The glue that holds these people together is smoking marijuana and listening to musical groups like Dave Matthews, Phish and Grateful Dead. Those things are maybe true but that’s not the whole truth. Marijuana is subtle and effective in addicting people. The addiction is psychological in nature but powerful. Marijuana users usually become regular users. People tell me, “I use once a week, maybe every ten days.” That means you have marijuana in your blood stream most of the time. Marijuana may take 7-10 days to leave the body. Chronic smokers may have marijuana in their system for up to six week, so even infrequent use results in marijuana/THC in your system all the time. (more…)Learn More