Is Marijuana Safer Than Other Drugs?
Is Marijuana Safer Than Other Drugs?
Does your loved one ever try to convince you that marijuana is safer than other drugs or alcohol? Maybe because it’s “all-natural” and legal in many states now, you aren’t sure what to believe? Tune in for my take on all this, books and resources for education on marijuana, and how to set boundaries for yourself.
Listen to the podcast episode here:
Read the transcript and find more details here:
I want to start today by telling you a little story. So I went to lunch with my husband and the other day, and we started talking to our waiter, and he said, Oh yeah, I just moved down from Colorado. And you know me by now. If anyone says anything that even smells remotely like it could have to do with addiction, I’m bringing it up. My kids are like, Oh my gosh, not again, mom, but he said Colorado.
And so, of course, my immediate word association, one of them with Colorado, other than mountains and beautiful hilly skiing, is drugs because marijuana became legalized in Colorado a while ago. And of course, I bought like every single book that analyzed how all of that is working for the state of Colorado, which I will touch base on just a little bit.
So I said, Oh, you know, I’ve never been to Colorado, which is true.
How did you find the legalization of marijuana?
I said, I just assume it’s everywhere. Is it everywhere? Are my assumptions correct? And our waiter said yeah, well, I mean, it’s not like everywhere, but pretty much on most street corners, people are smoking. I was trying to feel him out for like, was he pro-pot? Was he against pot? And he said, well, I don’t do it. I don’t do it. But a lot of people in Colorado do and are pro-pot.
So how do they get a hold of it? Is it like they’re smoking it? Are they doing edibles? What are they doing? And where are they getting it? He then told me in great detail about the dispensaries and how to get a prescription for it. And then what the waiting room looked like and how many waiting rooms there were. I was thinking, I didn’t say it, but I was thinking, that’s interesting for somebody who doesn’t partake in marijuana for you to know so much detail about it, but I’m quizzing him about it. And cause I’m curious, I ask, so is it just like casual? Are people just super casual about it?
And he said, yeah, you know, it’s not that big of a deal.
It’s natural. You know, a lot of people use it instead of having drinks. It can relax you. And he literally said, it’s not like you make bad decisions or bad choices when you’re smoking pot. It’s not like it affects you in any way as cocaine or meth do.
This is where I have to be very socially aware and not come across as rude. But I know the research, and I know that that is not true at all. So, do you educate the person standing in front of you and come across as possibly rude? Or do you keep a quiet mouth and just nod and let them believe what they want to believe? I chose to be quiet cause my husband stepped in. He said, let me just lovingly educate you a little bit about that.
He’s in the healthcare industry and studies a lot of the science behind it. He gets proposals all the time to purchase marijuana companies, which he turns down every time. But he knows enough about the science to know what the waiter told us isn’t true.
If you do the research, you will find out that not only do you make impaired decisions, but physically marijuana is worse than cigarettes on your body.
Your lungs will absolutely get damaged from smoking marijuana. It does impair your thinking when you are high.
And although you can say it is a natural plant, it is laced with many unnatural qualities. So it is not a hundred percent natural. Men have messed with the formula. The marijuana that was taken back in 1960 is very different from the marijuana that is used today. It’s far more potent and strong. So it is not quote, “no big deal.”
In addition to this, marijuana can cause psychosomatic behavior. It can cause schizophrenia, actually. You don’t know how your body is going to react. And there are two books that I will link below that show you the data on this:
Certain people have a genetic predisposition so that when they smoke pot or ingest marijuana for the first time, they can develop schizophrenia. It is actually incredibly dangerous to smoke pot. So you are risking quite a bit because you don’t know if you have this genetic predisposition.
I have a friend whose child was brilliant and got into college for composing music. He was a stunning kid and got involved in the wrong crowd. Innocently in college, he took a couple of hits off of a joint. He had never done it before. You know, it was like, Oh, it’s not like I’m doing a line of cocaine. It’s not like I’m doing meth. I can do this.
But he had that genetic predisposition, and he was addicted instantly.
Of course, there’s lots of more science behind this, and I’m making general statements here, but now he has schizophrenia. He had to drop out of college and live at home. He is addicted and can no longer compose music that makes any sense. His parents are completely struggling.
Why am I bringing this up? I’m bringing this up because I know for me, when I was married to a good man struggling with addiction, he tried to convince me that if he wasn’t drinking every day and he wasn’t doing the hard drugs, that marijuana was okay, that smoking pot was fine.
I want to make the case that any drugs that alter your way of thinking that have potential long-term harm to your body are not acceptable and not okay. And if you are struggling like me with figuring out your boundaries, you’re not alone.
I would question whether beer and wine are okay, but not hard liquor? Or is marijuana okay, but not cocaine? Is one drink okay, but not five? It’s a personal decision that you have to make. For me, it was none of it was okay because addiction is addiction is addiction.
Now you get to make up your own mind. You get to ask yourself this question, and you don’t have to follow what I did or my boundaries. You get to make your own. But I just want to make the case that when you get this argument about pot being natural and not having any serious side effects and being far better for you than alcohol, I’m going to challenge that and say, please get educated. Particularly, if you have children who are biologically from the person suffering from addiction, you absolutely need to educate your kids that pot is not innocent.
Pot could have an incredibly bad side effect on their mental and physical health.
I tell my kids, it’s just not an option for you because of your past and because of your genes. You can’t be like other kids and just think it’s casual and acceptable to do. Some people can experiment with drugs and not get addicted. But my kids can’t take that risk because of their biological father. And that’s the boundary I set for my kids: no drinking, no drugs ever. It’s just, you know, you got to find another outlet to deal with stress, which is why many people turn to that as a coping mechanism. So for you guys out there, educate your kids.
The two books I linked above are specifically for parents on educating your kids about drugs and the science behind marijuana that’s coming out. And if you don’t have children, just ask yourself, really, what are your true boundaries around this?
Are you okay with them having a couple of drinks? Another question to ask yourself is, how do you feel about boundaries in your life? Are you somebody who’s not going to have alcohol in the house because you know your loved one is trying to get sober and want to support them? Are you going to partake in marijuana if you’re living in a state where it’s legal?
Is that something you are comfortable with, or is it more likely you want to support their sobriety and make your home and body and relationship kind of a drug-free and drinking-free zone?
Ask yourself those questions for me.
I didn’t drink for nine or ten years when I was married to my ex-husband. If I’m asking him not to drink, why would I allow myself to drink? I did not allow alcohol in the house. I just thought it’s too good of a temptation to have any. It’s so tempting. Everybody drinks; there are advertisements and billboards, particularly on holidays for drinking. Why can’t I make my home a refuge for my loved one who struggles with addiction? He gets tempted out in the real world all the time. Why not make my house a safe zone, a place that he can come and hide away from the pressures of the real world of drinking.
It didn’t work. He just left the house and drank. But that was my train of thought. And I still would make that same decision. Honestly, I absolutely would because I think it was the right decision.
I personally didn’t drink. Plus, I hated alcohol because it was ruining my life. So why would I want to ingest it?
And then, with marijuana, it was completely illegal back then, and I was never comfortable with having illegal substances in the house or anywhere else. So it wasn’t an option.
But times are changing, and you have to ask yourself, what are you comfortable with?
What are your standards? What are your boundaries? It’s worth asking yourself these questions so that you’re clear. It doesn’t mean you don’t reserve the right to change your mind, but being proactive and asking yourself how you feel will help you be a better communicator and partner with somebody struggling with addiction.
Is Marijuana Safer Than Other Drugs?
Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.
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