Melody Cabarroguis Staff Writer
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is the most commonly used illegal drug in this country. Western societies tend to be more willing to use cannabis for pleasure and have high demands from other nations. For young adults, marijuana is used to socialize and to relieve stress from work, studies, or personal problems. Due to this, our society has become very lenient with the use of cannabis. A 2017 study showed that approximately eleven to twelve million young adults have used marijuana. No matter what we believe or feel about the recreational use of the drug, we should be attentive and aware of the effects that such a commonly used substance can have on people’s social and mental health. Some of the common opinions that I often hear from the media, science, and my peers justifying the use of cannabis are:
Relaxation: It is used for many to manage stress and anxiety. After a couple or more puffs, the individual starts giggling and experiences feelings of euphoria, an intense state of happiness or excitement, not justified with reality. However, one can relax without using marijuana and instead be engaged in productive activities such as meditating, reading, coloring, walking outside, and talking with their loved ones.
Socializing: Once you use it, you can be more comfortable speaking to others and social anxiety vanishes. College students often use this to feel connected with their peers and to be less awkward. They can also talk about the experience of using the drug as a topic of conversation. It gives them something to talk about, but then again, it is not real. It’s better to have a boring but real conversation instead of an exciting but delusional one.
Getting things done: Many claim that it makes it easier to do school work. Finishing a long essay? Big project? Cannabis can certainly assist you with that. Nevertheless, one of the scientifically proven short-term effects of using the drug is memory loss. In some cases, an individual might even forget their own passwords and phone numbers.
Help in school: One could argue is that it does help you focus, until you notice that you psychologically crave it. Although users don’t experience the same symptoms of withdrawal as with other harder drugs, one can still become psychologically addicted to it. Research shows that a teenager that consumes marijuana could have a lower I.Q level. It also disrupts the transmission signals and messages of the brain, damaging neurons. It also decreases motivation and increases laziness.
Medical use: Part of the main argument that we often hear from pro-users is that cannabis acts as a pain killer, and can reduce seizures and chronic pain. I will agree and I believe that we can’t deny the rights of these patients, but medical use is not the same thing as recreational use. One uses the drug to get healthier, the other uses the drug to get high.