Marijuana — safe or not? Although there are chemical qualities associated with the affects of marijuana on the human brain and body, the problem is not whether marijuana is harmful to casual users — most likely, legal issues aside, casual marijuana users will not suffer grave consequences from smoking pot every now and then. Many people now smoke marijuana prescribed by physicians. Medical marijuana and casual use are not the issues.
The problem, as it is when discussing the difference between social drinking and alcoholism, consists of marijuana users who have a problem with marijuana or who find ways to increase the potency of the marijuana. Pot smokers, mostly young pot smokers, are now doing something called “dabbing”. Here is an explanation of the process.
This has more to do with the users than the drug. As with all drugs, there are a certain percentage of users who will want a higher high — more, more, better, better, higher, higher. In the treatment field we deal with users, not drugs, per se. The problem is about 10% of the people who use drugs, including alcohol, will be come addicted. Addiction is the major problem, not the drugs. Even when most drugs are illegal or highly regulated, we still have a major problem with addiction. So the controversy over whether certain drugs like marijuana are safe always depends on who is using the drug. One person can use a particular drug that many people feel is safe for recreational use and have no consequences, while another person can use the same drug and become addicted and suffer grave consequences.
When drugs like marijuana are deemed “safe”, this doesn’t take into account the way 10% of the users will use the drug. Anyone who thinks marijuana is not addictive is simply wrong. Research shows that the when marijuana is used at an early age, the likelihood of brain changes that cause addiction are much greater. I find it sad when I hear a 40 year man or woman who has smoked pot daily for decades, often lighting up a joint before getting out of bed in the morning, claim with authority that pot is not addictive or harmful. Marijuana — safe or not? It depends.