I have smoked weed on an infrequent basis for my entire adolescence, and I still smoke very very occasionally. I am not ignorant of the effects of marijuana and it can be very pleasant to smoke a joint and relax with friends.
Marijuana Needs Revisiting
There seems to be only 2 positions on Marijuana:
- The Reefer Madness position: Completely blatant anti-marijuana propaganda. People who don’t understand what marijuana does or willfully misrepresent the effects of marijuana. These are people that tell you Marijuana is just as bad as every other drug, or that marijuana is a gateway drug. You will start with marijuana and then move on to using cocaine and heroin.
- The “Weed is chill, dude” position: This is the complete opposite of the reefer madness position. These people think marijuana is the ultimate way to understand themselves and the world. They believe if everyone smoked weed, there would be no crime and the world would be a peaceful place.
Marijuana was recently legalized in my country and people act like it has no bad effects. It is legal and because it’s natural people think it is harmless to use. This makes it even more harmful, if people are completely ignorant of the effects.
The bad effects are incredibly subtle and people often don’t notice them quickly enough, if ever.
Marijuana Makes People Unproductive
The simplest thing is that people never accomplish anything when they are high. But they always think they do! Try this, get high and write down the amazing ideas that come into your head. When you are sober, reread these ideas and you will realize how stupid they are.
I don’t know a single person personally who smokes weed regularly and is extremely productive and ambitious. I know a ton of people whose lives were ruined by Marijuana.
Some people might say “I’m more creative when I smoke weed!”
That’s great, good for you. I’ll explain to you why you think like this.
Weed is Self-Deception. It makes you think you are smart when you aren’t. It makes you think you’re right when you’re wrong.
The Subtle Destructive Powers of Marijuana
It is such a destructive drug because of this effect,
This is why Marijuana is such a destructive drug, people who are addicted to Marijuana often cannot admit it because the effects are so subtle.
Someone who is addicted to alcohol or cocaine know they have an issue. They will lie to the outside world, but inside their heads they know they are an addict. In their mind they know how much they want to quit. With weed people have a veil of ignorance.
Marijuana has ruined a lot of peoples lives. Think about why people get so offended when people tell them weed is bad for them.
Self-Deception And Marijuana
I did some research online about peoples overall position on Marijuana
I found an article on debate.org titled “Does smoking pot make you a better person?”
81% voted yes, 19% voted no
People that voted Yes explained why,
Makes me happy
“After I toke I feel better about a variety of things I normally wouldn’t care for. I feel like I am more relaxed and makes me less rigid in my thinking therefore I feel like it can be more accepting. I feel like I can see both sides to a problem.”
Heightened self awareness
“You call it paranoia, I call it a rush of self-awareness. Smoking weed OCCASIONALLY will make you a better person because it will force you to think about how your actions affect others in ways that you would be incapable of sober (or drunk). Whether or not it will make you happier is debatable, but the improved self-awareness will make you a better person.”
Weed and Introspection
“Weed has a variety of effects, most of which are fun and positive. But every regular smoker knows that it can also provoke much soul-searching. Especially when smoking alone, one can become introspective and open up to thoughts and feelings that are normally suppressed. Weed often forces me to consider my current life situation and aspects that I need to change. I think that if you’re a thoughtful person with your heart in the right place, it can help make you better. But I’ve also met many a**hole smokers. If you’re selfish, inconsiderate or mean, weed isn’t necessarily going to fix you. Weed is a tool, and like tools, it can be used to build or to destroy. I personally believe it takes years to learn how to use it in a balanced, positive way. I grew up with it, I’ve been smoking for 15 years and I’m 30 now. And for those skeptics who might assume I’m a scruffy hippie, let me clarify that I am educated at postgraduate level having attended reputable universities. I continue to take short evening courses in subjects that interest me because I believe in lifelong learning. I have a good job, and an above average salary and I am an overall happy person.”
Teaches you a lot about yourself and the world
“Anyone who thinks otherwise obviously do not regularly smoke. Marijuana has definitely impacted my personality for the better… I am more open minded, accepting, loving, calm, peaceful, and spiritual. Oh and I have a 4.0 gpa at a state university. Arguments against marijuana usually come from ignorant brainwashed people that believe everything they hear in the media and what their government tells them.”
The two reasons people say smoking pot makes them a better person:
a) It makes me happy
Weed doesn’t make you happy you are just under the influence. That’s what drugs do to you. No one would take drugs if they didn’t make people feel happy. Drugs can cause deep issues in peoples life and they often still take them.
b) It helps me be more soul-searching, more spiritual, self-awareness, introspective etc. etc.
This is the argument I absolutely adore. If you think you are more spiritual and understand the world when you smoke weed there may be a massive issue. You should feel like this when you are sober – why does is require drugs to make you introspective and spiritual?
Marijuana and Buddhism
People often cite spirituality as one of the main reasons for smoking marijuana. Ultimately, marijuana does not lead to self-knowledge. Somehow, some brilliant genius got the idea to start calling Marijuana, “Buddha”. Now companies use their marketing to associate the Buddha with their rolling papers, bongs, etc.
Ultimately, this is the product of 2 things: genius (and unethical) marketing departments, and people trying to rationalize their decision to do drugs frequently.
Buddhists do not encourage and actively discourage marijuana use. One particular example I will use is the views of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages. He was a Buddhist meditation master and a major figure in bringing and popularizing Tibetan Buddhism in the West. I will share a few glimpses of his views on marijuana.
“Much of his behavior has been construed as deliberately provocative and sparked controversy. In one account, he encouraged students to give up smoking marijuana, claiming that the smoking was not of benefit to their spiritual progress and that it exaggerated neurosis. Students were often angered, unnerved and intimidated by him, but many remained fiercely loyal, committed, and devoted.” Source
“Then he summoned everyone into the living room and ordered the Pygmies to bring him their dope. I wish someone had had a camera to take a photo of the distraught looks on their faces. One of the Pygmies told me they had just got a big shipment of hashish from Morocco and Rinpoche must have known about it. Anyway, they dutifully brought him all their dope and Rinpoche threw it in the fireplace and said “this is self-deception. It has no place on the path!” Then he lit the whole thing on fire.” Source
“Rinpoche told us in the early “70’s, after trying most everything himself without it having much of an effect on him, that we shouldn’t do drugs or grass, “Try ordinary mind instead!”—not that we knew what that was then.” Source
Hopefully this puts an end to the myth of stoner spirituality. If you need a way to remember this, think of “try ordinary mind instead” or “this is self-deception”
The greatest impurity is ignorance. Free yourself from it. Be pure. – Buddha
Marijuana and Mental Illness
The science is still inconclusive here. However people who are prone to mental health issues often suffer adverse effects from cannabis use. This is particularly true of Schizophrenia.
Our research demonstrates that cannabis has a differential risk on susceptible versus non-susceptible individuals. In other words, young people with a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia – those who have psychiatric disorders in their families – should bear in mind that they’re playing with fire if they smoke pot during adolescence.”- Dr. Barzilay source
Adverse Effects of Marijuana
There are also many other adverse consequences of marijuana use from the National Institute On Drug Abuse.
Acute (present during intoxication)
- Impaired short-term memory
- Impaired attention, judgment, and other cognitive functions
- Impaired coordination and balance
- Increased heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Psychosis (uncommon)
Long-term (cumulative effects of repeated use)
- Potential for marijuana addiction
- Impairments in learning and memory with potential loss of IQ*
- Increased risk of chronic cough, bronchitis
- Increased risk of other drug and alcohol use disorders
- Increased risk of schizophrenia in people with genetic vulnerability**
*Loss of IQ among individuals with persistent marijuana use disorder who began using heavily during adolescence
**These are often reported co-occurring symptoms/disorders with chronic marijuana use. However, research has not yet determined whether marijuana is causal or just associated with these mental problems.