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3 Marijuana Myths Debunked

Elizabeth Renter
May 1st, 2014
Updated 05/01/2014 at 12:25 pm
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marijuana no1 263x164 3 Marijuana Myths DebunkedMisconceptions about marijuana are being laid to rest across the country, as Americans warm to the idea of legalizing medical marijuana and even recreational pot. Most people are waking up to the fact that they’ve been fed a steady diet of pro-Drug War propaganda, and that marijuana isn’t only relatively safe, but a powerful medicinal plant.

From the days of Reefer Madness and before, marijuana has been vilified. Though nearly everyone knows that marijuana won’t make you crazy, some hold fast to equally flawed marijuana myths, myths such as:

1. Marijuana is a “Gateway Drug”

Contrary to what DARE officers told you in elementary school, smoking pot won’t turn you into a heroin junkie. As Owen Poindexter at AlterNet points out, “Correlation does not equal causality—most heroin users have worn jeans at some point in their lives, but it’s unlikely that one leads to another.”

People interested in trying mind-altering drugs are likely to try pot, and perhaps LSD, and heroin, or cocaine. But that doesn’t mean marijuana caused a progression, merely that certain people are attracted to certain behaviors. Marijuana, being the most common illicit drug is usually where these people start. On the flip side, however, this also doesn’t mean that everyone who tries marijuana is interested in shooting heroin; that’s a leap of logic that simply doesn’t hold any weight.

2. Marijuana Has no Medical Applications

A ridiculously perplexing truth, the federal government refuses to recognize marijuana as having any medicinal value, despite countless people treating their seizures, depression, and even cancer with the plant. It’s their entire justification for keeping marijuana classified as a Schedule I substance. In clinging to this myth, they are ignoring the mounting evidence that cannabis is able to treat a variety of conditions: seizure disorders, nausea, glaucoma, cancer, chronic pain, Lyme disease, and even possibly depression.

3. Legalizing Marijuana Increases Crime

One of the most recent studies on marijuana effects found that legalizing marijuana does not increase crime rates. This trend has been seen in communities where medical marijuana dispensaries have popped up and in Colorado where recreational pot was legalized. Crime rates have held steady and even fallen in some cases.

Marijuana isn’t as Dangerous as They Say

There are numerous myths about marijuana use, particularly as it applies to those who actually use the marijuana—that they are lazy, have consistent battles with the munchies, or that they are your stereotypical “pot head” 20-somethings, celebrating 4:20 and playing video games in hazy apartments.

In reality, marijuana advocates come from all walks of life, all age groups, and all socioeconomic backgrounds. The changing attitude towards marijuana will only increase the diversity among pot users and supporters, hopefully making these and other myths things of the past.

From around the web:

  • Kathleen P. Haines

    It will truly be legal when it can be grown without restriction by anyone that wants to do it like a tomato plant…I hate the ignorance of American people about this drug, I would be very happy if more would look at Swedish studies, Their motto in treating their patients how can I keep my patient healthy not, what diagnosis can I find so I can treat it with drugs that only benefit drug companies…They have studied marijuana with a fine tooth comb to see if it will keep their patients healthy with what they have…They cure cancer with it…Sad people won’t educate themselves…

  • rickahyatt

    The Legalization of such is just another excuse for another tax. Next, they will tax Heterosexual Sex, but leave Homosexual sex to be “Free.”

  • PolitiJim

    It’s pretty odd that a site concerned with health – NATURAL health no less would push an activity that results in over 400,000 emergency room admissions per year (, and creates respiratory illness in adults and the children who are subject to it as second hand smoke. And in Colorado – the “test case” many pro-weed writers want to use, THC-positive test results in the workplace have risen, two recent deaths in Denver have been linked to recreational marijuana use, and the number of parents calling the poison control hotline because their kids consumed marijuana products has significantly risen. Additionally, tax revenues fall short of original projections and the black market for marijuana continues to thrive in Colorado.

    It’s true that America over emphasizes the problems with recreational drugs (and underestimates problems with legal substances) – but glorifying marijuana doesn’t seem to be a healthy answer for anyone IMO.