Marijuana Myths and Facts

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In very recent times, the debate as to whether marijuana is a substance that should be deemed illegal or not, and with just cause, has been gathering speculation more than ever. With more than two states declaring the drug legal, much of America has been making their own conclusions at the tables in their own homes. Adults ages 40 and up may even have a distinct memory of the marijuana that was popular during their own hay day. The main concern in this matter are not the adults who choose to use marijuana, but the younger generations who are constantly building perceptions based on what their friends know, and what they understand from their parents.

A new book written by University of Florida addiction medicine specialists, Dr. Scott Teitelbaum and Michael Nias, might be one of the best guidelines for parents struggling to make the right decision, and impress the right idea onto their children.

As touched on above, one of the main points in the book is that marijuana is not what it used to be in our father's generation. Over the course of the last decade or so, the production of marijuana has changed dramatically. With advancing science and advancing understanding of plant genetics and chemical composition, marijuana now has a greater potency than ever before. THC, which is the main chemical in the plant that causes users to feel high, is graded up to seven times higher in the product today than it was forty years ago. This has been found to cause a greater risk of dependency, which is largely disputed by the pro-marijuana population, and also poses a higher risk in the development in psychiatric unwellness.

Another important topic that is stressed upon in the book is the way marijuana affects adolescents. The policy stands, in the areas where recreational use of marijuana is legal, that the bar for use is held at 18, the same for cigarettes. This bar was set for the obvious precaution that children and young teens should not be using the substance. The danger lies in the fact that the human brain, at this age, is still maturing. However, as written in this book, that bar has not been set quite high enough. It has been found in many studies that women's brains continue to mature up to the age of roughly 20 years, and the male brain well into the mid 20's. When children use marijuana, similarly to if they used other drugs or drink alcohol regularly, the influence of the drug chemicals can cause deficiencies in the brain and stunt its growth. In fact, children ages 15 and under who were found to have been using marijuana regularly were 40% more prone to develop a future dependence to drugs than their peers who did not engage in any type of drug or alcohol use.

The volume is expected and aimed to help families across the country who are struggling with the new and upcoming reformations on marijuana laws. Any decisions made should always be done with substantial knowledge on the matter and with so many out there promoting the drug for their own sake and motives, it is important that families get a clear view on the actual risks involved with marijuana use.

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