- Olivia Castro
Myths About Cannabis Debunked: Part One
A stormy cloud of stigmas has been surrounding marijuana for decades now and has been the root of the controversy with medical marijuana legalization and just marijuana in general. It is what started the “war on drugs” which incarcerated more people in the criminal “justice” system than ever before in American history.
There has been so much tension in our society due to the gap between those who agree that marijuana should be legalized, either recreationally or medically, and those who don’t. This is one of the many fights that cannabis advocates easily draw up the sword to combat. At West Virginia Marijuana Card, we do too!
The stigma surrounding marijuana has created a fog around correct marijuana education. This fog is dense and it is hard to see through so most people give up trying to find their way through it and settle on easily digestible theories that are outdated and, ultimately, not true.
This cloud of stigma is so dense that it almost blurs out marijuana discussions altogether leaving many medical marijuana patients feeling isolated, having to hide that marijuana helps them from even close family and friends. It also leads those that are potential patients so far from the truth that they are afraid to even consider medical marijuana as being a viable option for their treatment.
Can the decades and decades of long standing stigma be dismantled? Will patients ever feel the freedom of being able to choose which treatment is best for their medical condition and also have the confidence to be open about it?
Here at West Virginia Marijuana Card, we fight every day to make this possible, not only for our patients but for people all over the state! We believe that relief is not a privilege but a right that everyone deserves access to, especially those that are battling qualifying medical conditions.
We are here to bridge the gap and break the stigma together!
Myth #1: “Marijuana is a gateway drug.”
We have all heard this one before as it is probably one of the most widespread myths about marijuana.
Many of us have heard this in our “D.A.R.E.” class back in our old middle school days. You may have even been the one to tell your kids to arm themselves for the real world by “saying no to drugs.” Either way, this has been a myth that has been one major player for the marijuana stigma side and has burrowed itself deep into society’s idea about marijuana and its users.
Marijuana is actually not a gateway drug at all! There is no evidence that once you start using marijuana, you then start using other illegal drugs.
This myth was spread in order to gain support for the “war on drugs” which has scheduled marijuana a Schedule I drug. Unfortunately, this category is reserved for drugs that have a high risk for abuse and have no medicinal value. We know this isn’t true for marijuana.
This false scheduling compounded the myth that marijuana is a gateway drug. The idea behind this was that Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous therefore those who struggle with addictions are more than likely to use another Schedule I drug. Unfortunately, this concept was applied to marijuana even though it was falsely scheduled.
Actually, marijuana has been shown to help those overcome their addictions! Marijuana can help those with drug issues wean off of them and provide a track for a fast and safe recovery. This has been seen in treatment centers for opioid addiction all over the nation!
Myth #2: “Marijuana is addictive.”
Saying firmly that marijuana is addictive ignores the nuances of addiction and is just way too general of a statement.
There can be very real, very diagnosable addictions to many different things that people come into contact with every day. A person can be addicted to alcohol, painkillers, sugar, or gambling and these are just some of the more common addictions that you hear about. There are many more rare addictions that are less known, in fact there is an entire TV-show about them!
Just like with anything else in life, of course marijuana can be misused, over consumed and an emotional dependency can be formed. But in this sense, marijuana is not any more “addictive” than anything else in life.
Even if marijuana was addictive (which it is not), there is a major aspect to cannabis that sets it apart from other drugs, it is not lethal. Anyone who has a loved one struggling with a drug addiction knows that the scariest part is that you could lose them. With marijuana, there are no overdoses. While there have been a few suspected isolated cases, the deaths were not very clear and could have been linked to pre-existing medical conditions. Other deaths that have been linked to marijuana are not a direct link either; they usually have other contributing factors such as driving under the influence.
Saying marijuana is addictive is just another way to brush off marijuana’s medicinal, healing values and scare people away from using it!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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