Myths and Facts: Marijuana
Marijuana is a green-brown mixture of dried
and shredded flowers, stems, seeds and leaves of the hemp plant. You may
have heard it called "pot," "weed ," "herb," and "grass." It is usually
smoked as a cigarette (joint) or in a pipe. Marijuana is both a depressant
Although marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United
States, about 85% of Foothill College students are not current users.
What is it that they know that you should know?
Myth: Marijuana is better to use than other
drugs and alcohol because it is natural.
Fact: Your body is exposed to over 420 chemicals
when you smoke marijuana and the marijuana used today is 10 times stronger
than the marijuana used in the 60's and 70's. Dealers often cut marijuana
with other substances to make their "stash" go farther. Marijuana has
been mixed with oregano, PCP, Angel Dust and other substances. Organic,
uh? Natural, uh?
Myth: Smoking marijuana is better for you than
Fact: People who smoke marijuana but not tobacco
have more health problems and miss more work days than nonsmokers. Marijuana
smokers can develop the same breathing problems as cigarette smokers like
coughs, colds and bronchitis. Puff for puff smoking marijuana may increase
your risk of cancer more than tobacco. Do the math: 1 joint = the same
amount of carbon monoxide as in 4 cigarettes. 5 joints per week = exposure
to the same amount of cancer causing chemicals as smoking a pack of cigarettes
a day per 1 week.
Myth: Marijuana is great for my sex life.
Fact: Regular marijuana use in men can cause
lower testosterone levels, lower sperm counts, breast enlargement, and
reduced sex drive. A woman's ability to have children may be decreased
because marijuana causes changes in your period (menses) and stops eggs
from being released from the ovaries.
Myth: Marijuana affects me only as long as
the high lasts.
Fact: Research has shown that marijuana can
cause loss of short term memory and trouble with problem solving and learning
that can last for days or weeks after the high wears off. Someone who
smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a lower intellectual
level all the time. Marijuana can stay in your body for days or weeks.
A urine drug test can show you have used it long after the drug wears