As a freshman in college, I have heard many contradicting opinions on whether marijuana is good or bad for you. Of course there are pros and cons of everything. Some positives that I have been told have included anxiety relief, pain relief, increasing levels of creativity, and minimizing nightmares. Some cons include impairing your memory, negatvely affecting your respiratory system, and becoming a gateway substance into other more serious drugs or habits such as alcohol abuse. (For more pros and cons, see this link.)
I found this image online and thought it was extremely interesting. It is often hard to analyze risk depending on what you’re comparing it to. With marijuana, we aren’t as concerned with death as we are the ways it can affect your everyday life.
Picture found here
It seems to differ among people. However, there comes a point where you can’t argue against science (as long as you account for chance, and have a well-designed study). Personally, I feel that the most important thing to consider as college students when we are making decisions are how they will affect our success as students. College is such an investment, and while I am 100% for trying new things and making the most of your independence and college experience, I think making the most of our investment academically should always be the priority. Two recent studies (Fergusson DM, Boden JM. Cannabis use and later life outcomes. Addict Abingdon Engl. 2008;103(6):969-976; discussion 977-978. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02221.x.
Brook JS, Lee JY, Finch SJ, Seltzer N, Brook DW. Adult work commitment, financial stability, and social environment as related to trajectories of marijuana use beginning in adolescence. Subst Abuse. 2013;34(3):298-305. doi:10.1080/08897077.2013.775092.) linked the heavy usage of marijuana to many negative habits and outcomes after college including lower income, heavier criminal activity, and even worse, lower satisfaction in life overall. It is very plausible that there were confounding variables in these studies such as family environment and life experiences that could change the way a person made their decisions, habits, and priority choices. However, knowing how serious some of the downsides of becoming addicted to this drug can get, would you really consider the few possible pros worth it? Is it worth risking your future and how you live out the rest of your life?
In our lectures, this is something we have considered a lot. Whether or not something is immediately bad for you is one thing, but the possible risks, although not always extremely likely, sometimes aren’t even worth taking the chance.
The idea of this blog post caught my attention because it is something a lot of college students can relate to. Whether you smoke marijuana yourself or if you know someone who does, as long as you are aware of the risks then don’t stress too much about anything. What is important is that you take responsibility for your actions and understand what you could be getting yourself into.