No other drug is so infused in American culture as Marijuana, perhaps because—like alcohol—it's experienced extreme ends of social acceptance and rejection.
Early on, marijuana use was portrayed with highly exaggerated effects. Propaganda films like Reefer Madness helped to spread claims that use of "demon weed" led to promiscuity, rape, and homicide.
Today with a greater understanding of the drug and its effects, public perception has completely changed to the point that 41% of Americans have tried the drug and some states have actually legalized it.
So does this mean that marijuana is harmless? Not necessarily. Approximately 10% of people who use another legal substance—alcohol—would become addicted. And while, like alcohol, you might enjoy marijuana without adverse effects, your chances of becoming addicted to it are just as high as your chances of becoming addicted to alcohol.
When you smoke marijuana, THC—the active ingredient in marijuana—enters the lungs and travels through the bloodstream to the brain. Once there, THC disrupts your chemical balance, allowing dopamine—the natural chemical in your body that produces feelings of satisfaction and well-being—to flow freely.
Although researchers are still exploring the long-term consequences of marijuana use, some studies show that heavy use can cause cognitive decline and addiction—especially among adolescents.
At first, marijuana use may not seem to be dangerous, yet those nightly smoking sessions may overshadow school or work performance, life goals, and even family relationships. This is addiction.
Marijuana addiction does not disappear on its own. If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana use, seek help today.
- 「在早期、在初期」- Early On
Early on, marijuana use was portrayed with highly exaggerated effects.