Allow me to preface this blog post with a few things. This is not a blog that addresses whether or not marijuana should be legalized. My intent is not to spark that debate because it is trite and I no longer care. Instead, I wish to examine a significant and dangerous side effect of the use of marijuana.
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine and he shared with me a devastating account of a friend of his. He told me his friend, who had smoked marijuana before, took two hits of marijuana one night and ended up in the hospital with marijuana-induced psychosis. Now I’ve heard stories in the past where individuals perhaps got a little too high and started freaking out, but I had never heard of someone being hospitalized due to the effects of marijuana.
Now up until hearing this story I always thought marijuana was harmless. Many of my friends smoked and I witnessed them first hand under the effects. At the same time, I completely understood some peoples’ moral objections to it. I mean, it’s a drug – plain and simple. I always thought people opposed it because it was a drug, not because of the negative effects of it. This story has forced me to take a step back and wonder if marijuana truly is all that safe. All my opinions of its safety were solely on my personal experiences and what I believe to be a liberal media portrayal of it. After my friend told me this story (and by the way, my friend’s friend who this happened to is fine now) he said the doctor told the kid that this happens to fifteen percent of people one time or another while smoking marijuana. Now whether that was just the doctor trying to scare people from smoking, I don’t know, but a doctor said it and that number is sort of startling to me.
I came across an article on-line about this topic and it was even more startling. It said “A recent study from Denmark showed that of those who exhibited signs of marijuana induced psychosis, over 40% presented the symptoms of schizophrenia 1 year after the occurrence.” The entire article can be found here.
Now once again, this blog isn’t meant to address the issue of legality, rather safety. If you think it’s not safe, is it still ok to be used? Alcohol for example is clearly not safe, yet people drink all the time. Maybe I’m just being paranoid and marijuana is completely safe to use. However, perhaps it’s not.