I don’t want to smell your weed.

It’s nothing personal, I just don’t like the smell. Or the fact that no matter how you take your cannabis recreationally, you’re still doing drugs.

I should be clear: I have nothing against medicinal marijuana — that’s an incredibly positive life-changing treatment a doctor can prescribe.

Prescribe. It’s difficult to overstress how important that one word is. When you smoke marijuana, whenever you put it in a brownie, you are ingesting a drug.

To understand this, it is important to consider the use of recreational marijuana from the standpoint of a similar set of drugs: painkillers. For most painkillers, would you take it if you didn’t need it to treat pain you’re experiencing? Or perhaps the better question is, would you take a drug like codeine Tylenol (or even normal Tylenol) just because your friend is taking it?

And yet somehow marijuana, or more accurately CBD and THC, approved by the FDA only to treat nausea, seizures, and anorexia by prescription only, has become a favorite among the younger generations of today.

Arguments in favor of marijuana include a lack of addictive potential, and no permanent side effects. But we don’t have all the facts on this. There certainly isn’t a clear scientific consensus, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (which is in the National Institutes of Health) reports that 9% of people who use marijuana will get addicted, and many people who try to stop using marijuana will experience withdrawal symptoms.

What gets me is the blatant disregard people have for the facts (or lack thereof) on marijuana. Ironically, many of the people I’ve seen do this are the same people who I see posting on Facebook and other social media complaining when some people in the US (such as our President) completely disregard facts. And while I understand that many people who are pro-pot are trying to make a point, there are still ways to make that point without being hypocritical. 

If you want to make a pro-pot argument, what’s most important is that you check your facts inside and out. Call for studies to be done on the effects of marijuana. Most of you wouldn’t post that magic mushrooms or acid are safe. Why promote a drug that is addictive and that has negative mental effects just because you like the concept of (or just as likely) consuming weed. And if you’re consuming weed, well, you wouldn’t want to be in a car during a crash test or ride a roller coaster that has a 9% chance that the train derails.

But in the end, do I think it should be criminal to do recreational marijuana? I don’t believe it should go on anyone’s criminal record, but I don’t believe it should be legal either. Having recreational marijuana legalized is no different than legally permitting the sale and use of tobacco recreationally.

If anything, I would probably consider marijuana to be more dangerous than tobacco. Tobacco slowly harms your body. Marijuana can alter your perception while you’re high, making it more likely that you could make a bad decision — like driving while high, which could have a fatal outcome.

But even short of killing someone, there’s another thing many are guilty of: smoking a joint indoors. This is the second year in a row that, in my dorm, I’ve smelled pot. Not just once, but on many occasions. I know I can’t stop you from lighting up a joint, but if you’re going to be irresponsible, at least have the decency to do it outdoors (the alternative would break the law given you probably are covering your smoke detector).

I can’t make any of you stop smoking weed. But I challenge you to try. As someone who has never done drugs, I can guarantee you that there’s more to life than getting high day after day. And as much as showing up high to your differential equations class might reduce how much suffering you experience during the lecture, you’re at UR to learn, not get high.

I don’t want to smell your weed. And maybe it is personal, because I care about you.

Tagged: 4/20 drugs weed


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