The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends and engage in meaningful and interesting conversations. However, if you have stress about battling the anti-cannabis conversations with family this weekend, we have a list of the top cannabis myths you can debunk.
- Myth #1: Cannabis is a gateway drug. This has been researched and proven not to be true on a number of occasions (see cited research in TIME). When it comes to addictions, things are much more complicated, but here’s some great insights you can use:
“When we force people into the illegal drug market, they’re exposed to other illicit drugs. Legalizing cannabis means we reduce contact with that environment and the opportunity to engage in other types of substance use.” — Elaine Hyshka, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at University of Alberta.
“Many people mistakenly believe that marijuana use precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use. In fact, most drug use begins with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, making nicotine and alcohol the two most common drugs of abuse.” — Constance Scharff, Ph.D
- Myth #2: Legalization will lead to increased use, and increased use in youth. If we look to Colorado as a model for legalization, we can note that cannabis usage has remained relatively stable post-legalization. In terms of youth usage, Colorado’s rate of adolescent cannabis use has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, since legalization.
“In 2015, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that the rates of marijuana use among youth remains unchanged before and after legalization. The only thing that changed was the consumption of alcohol and tobacco which decreased. Furthermore, recreational cannabis legalization will be the biggest hindrance to the black market and its societal ills. Crime, adolescent use and fatal drug overdose decrease significantly in any region these laws are enacted.” — Dr. Ife Abiola, Medical Director of 420 Clinic.
- Myth #3: Cannabis can kill you. There are zero recorded instances of cannabis overdoses.
“The Journal of American Medicine found that when provisions for marijuana were made fatal overdose from opioids and prescription drugs decreased by 24.8 per cent. For some much-needed perspective, alcohol is far more prevalent and accepted in our society than marijuana. Drinking is more likely to cause dependency, impaired driving, health problems and even death. The safety profile for cannabis is preferable in all those contexts and non-existent for fatalities.” — Dr. Ife Abiola, Medical Director of 420 Clinic.
- Myth #4: Legalization causes crime. This is quite the contrary when we look at places that have already legalized, like Colorado. Crime and arrests have decreased significantly following legalization in Colorado.
“The total number of marijuana court cases fell from 39,027 in 2011 to 2,036 cases in 2014. Those 37,000 fewer cases represent a savings of untold millions of dollars in court costs and law enforcement fees. They represent 37,000 fewer people who have to deal with the stigma and financial burden of an arrest and possible conviction.” [Washington Post]
- Myth #5: Cannabis makes you high. The euphoric effects associated with cannabis are actually from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a cannabinoid. While THC strains and hybrids are used to help some medical conditions, the majority of our patients are using CBD strains. Cannabidiol (CBD) provides many patients with relief of inflammatory pain such as arthritis, muscle spasms, seizures and even many gastrointestinal issues without causing euphoria or impairment.