Marijuana is Not Harmless

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. Marijuana is a mix of dried flowers, stems, seeds and leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This moves quickly through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs throughout the body. THC acts upon specific sites in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. It kicks off cellular reactions that lead to the “high” that many marijuana users say they experience. So it’s a plant, it’s natural and natural is good, right? Wrong. Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perception, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Long-term marijuana use can have a long-lasting, negative impact on your brain. The longer the drug is abused, the more dependent the user becomes. Some users even feel the need to get on something stronger. Therefore, marijuana is said to be a “gateway drug” to harder drug use.

Marijuana is rapidly spreading to younger generations. Research shows that the earlier you start using marijuana, the more likely you are to be dependent on this drug or far more dangerous drugs later on in life. Estimates from research show that the percent of users who become addicted increase among those who start at a younger age. Using marijuana at a young age can cause you to develop weakened verbal and communication skills. It can lower learning abilities and even cause a shortened attention span. Sadly, our generation and culture lead these younger ages to think smoking marijuana is “cool” and natural. Smoking marijuana is featured in movies and songs like marijuana use is okay. Well it’s not. Adults need to set an example. Present marijuana as it really is, a “gateway” to harmful and destructive actions. Marijuana ruins futures and discards any chance of a healthy, successful life. So start making the right decisions now, before it’s too late.  A condition called marijuana addiction can occur after prolonged use.  If you are concerned about a loved one or friend, please call (888) 824-0448

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